Maintaining your dog’s teeth can feel somewhat of a chore. We hear you! Luckily, there are a few simple ways you can support your dog’s overall dental hygiene.
Activities like feeding dogs raw bones, nutritious chews and a meat-rich diet can make all the difference to your dog’s teeth and gums but brushing your dog’s teeth is also essential to keep your canine’s canines in sparkling condition.
Let’s look at three key ways you can keep your dog’s teeth in check.
Dog Teeth Brushing 101
Brushing our own teeth twice-daily is a ritual for a reason. It’s just as important for your dog to do on the regular, too. Despite what some doggy dental products promise, you can’t rely solely on dental chews to do the job. Regular brushing has been scientifically proven to significantly improve dogs’ dental health and reduce the risks of serious and painful issues like gingivitis and other gum diseases.
Set yourself up for success with our top tools and tips to master the art of teeth brushing:
You’ll need a dog toothbrush (they have sensitive bristles and are designed specifically for their mouth) and dog toothpaste (human toothpastes have harsher chemicals that don’t sit well with your dog’s sensitive stomach).
Start slowly by getting your dog used to the idea of brushing. Get down to your dog’s eye level and gently rub your finger along their gums. Ideally, you’d introduce teeth-brushing when your dog is a puppy so they are comfortable with it from an early age. When they’re at ease, gently lift their gums and brush the outward-facing sides of their teeth (as many dogs won’t let you get the inside their mouth).
Positively reinforce your dog for their good behavior, whether that be with play or treats so they’re up for brushing their teeth next time too.
Even if you can’t brush your dog’s teeth daily, brushing as regularly as possible is better than not at all. And that’s where bones, chews and diet come into play to help maintain their overall dental health overall.
How to clean dog teeth without brushing: Supplement with Bones and Chews
As the saying goes, give a dog a bone. Not only do they keep your dog happily occupied and mentally stimulated, raw bones are also nature’s own toothbrush.
Raw or air-dried bones like ZIWI’s venison shank bones are a natural (and yummy) way to keep your pet's teeth and gums in top shape. Your dog’s teeth are literally designed to bite and crunch. As they work away at the bone and cartilage, they are naturally breaking down plaque and tartar build-up, massaging those gums, getting rid of bacteria and strengthening their jaw muscles, all while enjoying a delicious treat. The result: fresh breath and a cleaner mouth.
For puppies, their adult teeth only start to grow when they’re between 12 and 24 weeks of age, so consider beginning with natural chews. ZIWI’s Lamb Green Tripe chews, and Venison Lung and Kidney chews have been slowly air-dried and are jam packed full of natural nutrients to support healthy teeth and gums to help get your puppy off to a great start.
For those with a penchant for tearing apart shoes or gnawing on the furniture, chews are best served alongside plenty of exercise, and a good dose of positive reinforcement – based puppy training to help curb their toothy-destruction.
Feed Them a Dental-Friendly Diet
Another sure-fire way to support your dog's long-term dental health is feeding them a meat-rich, low-carbohydrate and low-sugar diet. Even when some kibble brands label their food as dental or oral care enhanced, it doesn’t mean they hit the mark in terms of key nutrients.
Many use high-carb filler foods like oat and wheat, starches, and corn to make up their ingredients which is counterproductive to dental health. Plaque feeds off carbohydrates and produces acids that wear down the enamel of teeth and travel through to the digestive system, messing with your dog’s digestive enzymes. This can lead to a weakened immune system which can lead to a range of consequential health issues for your pet, including heart disease, obesity, and liver disease.
Dogs are biologically wired to consume a high-meat rich diet, which maintains a naturally low pH, aids their digestion and ultimately keeps their teeth in the best shape. The right, biologically aligned diet means a settled tummy, a healthier mouth and even better breath.
The right, biologically aligned diet means a settled tummy, a healthier mouth and even better breath.
All of ZIWI Peak’s recipes contain 96% meat and organs, and the ZIWI Peak air-dried tripe and lamb recipe contains 35% cold-washed green tripe – a natural probiotic containing vitamins and minerals that help support gut health.
No matter what routine you settle on to keep your dog’s teeth in order, it’s vital to check in with your vet to discuss any dental-related concerns you have for your dog.
A modern take on centuries‑old meat preserving techniques, our Z-TWINTECH™ air drying technology locks in the goodness of our raw ingredients, creating ready-serve raw-inspired nutrition.
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Our free-range, grass-fed meats and local poultry are ethically raised under New Zealand’s Freedom Principles, while our sustainable seafood comes from the world’s top-ranked fisheries.
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