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We’ve all heard the theory that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s. While we’re skeptical of its truth, we do know that dental hygiene is incredibly important when it comes to not just our own health, but our pups as well. Here are 4 big ways to keep those slobbery kisses clean…

BRUSH. We repeat, brush your dog’s teeth. Yes, we know it’s a pain, but it’s also VERY important. Brushing your furry friend’s chompers will not only prevent the buildup of bacteria and plaque, but it will keep Fido’s teeth healthy, strong, and bacteria-free. The next time you feel like skipping it just remember: periodontal disease is the number one killer among cats and dogs. Read how to brush your dog’s teeth here.

Dental treats and raw bones. Synthetic bones are great ways to keep your dog’s teeth clean between brushings. These days, there are plenty on the market that specifically target dental care (we like the Plaque Attacker. And of course, Greenies work wonderfully and double as tasty treats! A quick note: we recommend avoiding cow hooves, antlers, and any other hard bone that could cause teeth cracking or excessive bleeding – especially if your dog already suffers from teeth decay.

Perform routine inspections. After brushing and while you’ve still got your dog’s mouth in your hands, we recommend performing mini inspections. Take a minute to root around in your furry friend’s mouth for any lumps, bumps, or discoloring. While not necessarily pleasant, also make note of any changes in your dog’s breath. To keep bad breath at bay, try Plaque Remover Pet Water or these dental wipes.

Schedule dental cleanings and oral exams with your veterinarian. For older dogs, every 6 months. For younger dogs, annually. Don’t skip this part! Consistency is key for maintaining your furry friend’s dental hygiene.