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Tips and Tricks to Keeping Your Dog’s Teeth and Gums Healthy

Hand brushing dog's tooth for dental care

Written by The Halo Team

November 30, 2023

Dog kisses can either be the best thing on earth or the worst if your furry friend has stinky breath. While it’s normal for your dog to have bad breath after a long day of activities, a persistent stench indicates a more severe issue with your dog’s oral hygiene.

Poor dog dental health doesn’t just affect interactions with your pup. Bad breath, mouth pain or loose teeth and gums make it hard for your pup to eat and play. Dental disease can also lead to more serious and potentially fatal health concerns.

Follow along as the Halo team discusses the implications of poor dental health in dogs and provides tips on maintaining dog gum health.

The Connection Between Dog Gum Health and Overall Well-Being

A dog’s dental health is often a good indicator of its overall health. Normal dog gums and teeth enhance your pup’s ability to play with toys, hunt prey and chew food.

Dental disease creates holes or cavities in a dog’s mouth, opening the way for harmful bacteria in food, toys or prey to enter your dog’s body.

If left unattended, this bacteria can cause bacteremia, an infection of your dog’s blood supply that leads to poor circulation. The bacteria can also infect the dog’s red blood cells and cause heart, kidney and liver problems.

Common Dental Issues and Gum Disease in Dogs

A dog’s dental disease usually starts with plaque formation, where tiny food particles form a layer on your pup’s teeth. If not removed, the plaque builds into a thick, hard layer called tartar. Bacteria found in tartar causes inflamed gums, dental cavities and tooth root exposure.

Periodontal disease occurs when the bacteria in tartar makes its way into your dog’s bloodstream, causing life-threatening infections.

About 80% of dogs aged 3 years or less show these signs of poor dental health:

  • Bad breath
  • Excess drooling
  • Nasal or eye discharge
  • Swollen face
  • Cherry-red gums from bleeding
  • Loss of teeth and gums
  • Poor grooming
  • Loss of appetite
  • Perpetual exhaustion

Daily Brushing Techniques

Dog mouth cleaning is crucial to preventing gum disease in dogs. Brushing your dog’s teeth at least three times weekly using a dog-safe toothpaste and toothbrush can promote good dental health.
Start a dog mouth care routine when your dog is a puppy to reduce its resistance to the feeling of having its teeth touched. As with other forms of training, dog teeth cleaning requires a lot of patience, especially the first few times.
To start brushing your pup’s teeth:

  • Take it to a quiet area of the house and ask it to sit.
  • Kneel in front of it and help it calm down.
  • Gently run your index finger on your dog’s gums and teeth. Repeat until it gets used to the sensation.
  • Put a small amount of dog toothpaste on your finger and let your pet lick it.
  • Use a circular motion to run the finger brush along its teeth and gums.
  • Put the toothpaste on the toothbrush and repeat the motion. Brush each side of the teeth for at least 30 seconds.

If your pup gets nervous and resists, stop the process and try again when it’s calm. Speak to it throughout and reward it after a successful session to make brushing teeth a positive memory.

Beagle and chicken legs

Dietary Considerations for Stronger Teeth and Healthier Gums

When it comes to keeping your dog’s gums healthy, diet is just as important as brushing. Wild dogs and wolves usually clean their teeth using their food, so incorporate gum-healthy food and snacks into dog mouth care.

Chewing on raw bones is a good way for your pup to remove food particles from its teeth and gums. Freeze the bone before giving it to your dog to prevent splinters that might puncture its soft mouth and gum tissue.

Additionally, hard vegetables and fruits such as carrots and apples promote healthy gums in dogs. These products also have antioxidants that prevent plaque formation and the occurrence of cavities in teeth.

You can also use the probiotics in yogurt and kefir to eliminate harmful bacteria in your pup’s teeth and gums.

Safe Chew Toys and Dental Treats for Healthy Dog Gums

Chewy snacks and toys can also play a big role in your dog’s dental health.

Dental chews such as Greenies Natural Dog Treats have a range of vitamins and minerals that prevent the occurrence of unhealthy dog gums. Some chews have ridges that eliminate food particles and bacteria from between their teeth, giving your pup minty fresh breath.

You can also turn your pup’s playtime into tooth-cleaning time using chew toys such as the Nylabone Power Chew toy. The toy’s meaty flavor maintains your pup’s interest, while the other ingredients clean and strengthen its teeth.

The Halo Collar 3’s integration with the Halo mobile app makes it easy to monitor your pup’s playtime. The collar’s GPS capabilities let you see where it is at any given time and ensure it’s safe as it chews on its snacks and toys.

Regular Vet Checkups and Professional Cleanings

You can maintain your dog’s gum health by taking it to the vet for a thorough checkup at least once a year. The vet will examine your dog’s oral health to identify early signs of dental disease. The checkup can also reveal symptoms of acute blood loss caused by bleeding gums or any underlying disease.

Your dog should also receive professional teeth cleaning every 2 years to ensure any plaque buildup doesn’t progress into dog gum disease.

The Halo Collar 3 can act as your calendar. You can easily access information on your last vet visit through the Halo app’s historical data and schedule the next appointment accordingly to avoid missing it and risk your pup’s dental health.

Prioritize Your Dog’s Dental Health Today!

Poor dog gum health is a big indicator of an overall unhealthy dog. Bad breath, loose teeth and swollen gums can lead to poor grooming and unhealthy nutritional habits. Periodontal disease also puts your dog at risk of more serious and even fatal health conditions.

Brushing your pup’s teeth, giving it healthy snacks and enhancing its playtime with tooth-safe toys are good ways to maintain dog gum health and combat present disease.

The Halo Collar 3 makes it easy for you to keep track of your pup’s health data. Through the Halo app, you can see its activity level throughout the day to determine whether it’s started developing signs of unhealthy gums and teeth. The Halo Collar 3’s ability to store up to 20 virtual fences can keep your pup from running off even if it becomes upset while undergoing a comprehensive oral health assessment.

Get the Halo Collar 3 invisible fence today and keep your pup safe wherever you go!

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