Brushing your dog’s teeth daily or every 2–3 days is recommended to help remove plaque and tartar buildup. But if your dog is like Bowie who runs away whenever I try to brush his teeth, then these suggestions below may work for you and your pup.
- Use gauze or soft finger toothbrush to gently scrub your pup’s teeth. I use coconut oil instead of commercial dog toothpaste. It tastes and smells great, and it’s full of antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. You can also add baking soda, cinnamon powder and ground egg shells.
- You can also lather your pup’s dental chew toy or soak their treats with coconut oil. I often soak whole carrots in coconut oil and freeze them. Always test it with your dog first and observe if they’re allergic to it or not. Coconut oil has high fat content so be mindful not to over-feed if your dog has pancreatic problem. Consult with your vet if you’re unsure.
- Feed your dog a good diet with variety of fresh and commercial. Avoid highly processed carbohydrate and starch based diet (most commonly found in kibbles) as it attracts plaque and tartar to stick. Bowie is fully on raw diet but if you’re not ready for 100% fresh food diet, you can always adapt a hybrid diet where you substitute 20% of your dog’s kibbles with fresh food. Always go slowly when introducing new diet.
- If your dog is familiar with chewing raw bones, give them a variety of raw meaty bones which will encourage your dog to use all the different teeth types. Choose the right sized bones for your pup and always supervise. What about commercial dental chews? Personally I’m not a big fan of them – they’re highly processed and contain undesirable ingredients like rice wheat starch, sodium tripolyphosphate and glycerin. Plus Bowie had a stinky diarrhea afterwards.
- Add supplements to your dog’s diet, for example, probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids and Ascophyllum nodosum. Ascophyllum nodosum is a species of kelp that can help treat tartar build up and gingivitis, keep your dog’s teeth clean and reduce bad breath.
- If all else fails, taking your dog to a vet for a dental cleaning may be in order.
Bowie & I