Dental Health: Looking after your dog’s teeth
It all starts with a healthy raw diet!
We believe a proper, balanced nutrition is the most important aspect in keeping our dogs happy and healthy, which is why Poppy’s Picnic is 100% focused on making a difference to their lives by feeding real raw dog and cat food, one bowl at a time. To ensure this, we only use the best locally sourced ingredients in our raw food recipe including fresh raw meat, ground-up bones - in the case of the dog food, garden vegetables - and nutritionally enhancing herbs, vitamins and natural oils.
Just as proper fresh raw dog and cat food is important in maintaining our pet's health, it is also crucial to look after their dental care so their breath stays fresh and their smile is forever gleaming. Dogs use their mouths for more than just eating. They also use them to play, chew, taste, and explore their environment. And of course - to give us all the sloppy kisses in the world!
This is why we strongly advise pup parents to pay attention to their dog’s dental health, as it could cause serious problems in the future if overlooked. Did you know that 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of 3 years old have gum disease? Solid, brown and gritty looking plaque and tartar can start to build up if your dog’s teeth are not regularly cleaned, causing a higher risk of inflammation around the gum line. This could make it extremely uncomfortable, and sometimes painful for your dogs to eat - and would lead to bad breath, gum disease and even tooth loss.
Dogs and bad breath
If you’re anything like me (and most doggie parents out there..!), you’ll love it when your dog is affectionate. Poppy and the girls are always so excited to greet me when I get home and it’s such a blessing. However, those wonderful face-licks and kisses may not be as pleasant if they had bad breath…
This can easily be avoided starting first and foremost with a healthy raw food diet such as Poppy’s Picnic raw dog food. Secondly, as we mentioned before, regular brushing is important to avoid tartar build-up which can cause bad breath or infections in the gum. Previous studies have shown that brushing your dog’s teeth at least two or three times a week can help maintain your dog’s dental care. Sometimes it could be more of a serious problem if the issue persists, so we would advise you to consult your vet to see if there is an underlying health issue that needs professional attention.
How do I get started on brushing my dog’s teeth?
Getting your dog comfortable with having their teeth brushed at an early age and rewarding them after, helps with making for an easier experience. Make sure your dog is comfortable and relaxed during the first try. According to Blue Cross, here are some steps you can follow to get your training started:
- Stroke your dog’s cheek gently to get them used to your hand being by and around their mouth. Do this for the first two to three days before doing the next step
- Introduce a blob of dog toothpaste on your finger, allowing your dog to lick it off
- Once your dog shows you that they enjoy the toothpaste, start to run your finger along the inside of their mouth, following the gum line
- If your dog is comfortable with you doing this then after a few days, you can introduce the toothbrush, allowing your dog to lick the toothbrush with toothpaste on (don’t put the toothbrush in their mouth just yet!)
- If that’s successful, you can start to gently use the toothbrush and targeting the front teeth first in soft round motions, stopping regularly to allow them to lick the toothbrush (so they’re continuously rewarded)
- Once your dog is happy to let you brush their front teeth and their canines, you can move onto the back teeth, repeating the ‘stopping and starting’ process