Following on from the success of my dog workout, I’ve decided to add some bits onto my blog about caring for my dog Winnie. She is currently nearly 7 months old and so all her big teeth are almost through. Whilst teething she has been chewing lots, but with the right toys and snacks she has found it easier on her teeth. However, now comes the next stage, her big teeth are through – now what?
I’ve teamed up with Pedigree to chat to you about the importance of dog dental care and how you can help your puppy/dog on the road to healthy teeth. Unlike adults dogs can’t really tell us if something is wrong, nor do they brush their teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day! According to research conducted, 4 out 5 dogs over the age of 3 will suffer from some sort of dental distress such as gum disease. If you have a puppy you’re probably thinking you don’t need to worry, but now is the ideal time to get your dog accustomed to dental care. With Winnie, we have introduced her to all things as early on as possibly, things like going to groomers just for a wash and trim, just so she gets used to the process. We’ve also socialised her early on, and even mixed up her bed time routine. Some nights she sleeps downstairs, others she will be with us so when we go off on camping trips or stay in dog friendly hotels she will be used to it.
STEP ONE | Know the signs
The first step is to know the signs that your dog is having some tooth related issues. Things to watch out for, (very much like humans) are bad breath, bleeding gums, whining, if you spot a build of plaque, and of course a change in behaviour towards food and eating habits.
STEP TWO | Manually Brushing their teeth
This can be rather tricky especially if you have a playful puppy like mine! My parents dog Olly is awesome with manual brushing, he literally sits there and will enjoy the chance to taste the doggy toothpaste. Winnie? Not so much. She can’t get her around why I’m trying to get her to let me brush her teeth, in fact she often thinks we’re playing!
STEP THREE | Dental care specific treats
This can obviously be something like Pedigree DentaStix which is made for dog teeth cleaning. Winnie has tried to puppy specific version of these, as I know she is only just getting her big teeth but has now tried the Dentastix for the first time and loved them! Initially she wasn’t sure but now she loves to chew on them.
STEP FOUR| Chew toys
Best thing I’ve ever done with buying Winnie’s toys is invest in chew specific ones. We have a rubber ball that has bits that she can chew on it, she also has a puppy specific chew ring and can spend hours noshing on that! The chew toys really help a puppy whilst they’re teething, as often they will feel frustrated by the pain .
STEP FIVE | Good Food
A good diet is super important for any dog, adult or puppy. Instead of giving your puppy lots of biscuit treats, I’ve found a carrot is a great alternative, they’re actually harder to eat and will help a puppy during teething. I actually chop the carrot up into coins, hid them and then we do what we call the carrot hunt game, as the dogs will race off to find the hidden carrots! Olly particularly loves this game but Winnie thoroughly enjoys a tasty bit of carrot! With their breakfast and dinner, dogs should be having a combination of dry food, wet food, regular dental care regime and a responsible amount of treats.