Getting a new puppy is a huge responsibility. You have to house train it, take care of its vet appointments and shots, feed it the best food for a growing young dog, and generally do what you can to give your puppy the best start in life. One thing you definitely shouldn't overlook is your puppy's dental care. Taking great care of your dog's teeth now will help prevent issues down the road.
Here are four tips for taking care of your new puppy's teeth:
Get Appropriate Chew Toys
Young puppies need a healthy outlet for their urge to chew on things. You can easily redirect their chewing from shoes and furniture by providing them with chew toys. Be very enthusiastic and encouraging when they begin to chew on their toys, so they know they're doing what you want them to. Young dog teeth are somewhat fragile, so opt for soft, flexible rubber chew toys rather than hard bone or plastic ones.
Feed Your Puppy the Right Food
It's best to buy your young dog food that's formulated specifically for puppies. This will ensure they get the nutrients they need most. Puppy food is also smaller and easier to chew than food made for adult dogs. Most vets agree that dry dog food is better for dog's teeth than wet food, which can contribute to tooth decay and other dental issues.
Get Your Puppy Comfortable with Mouth Handling
It's a good idea to get your dog used to having its mouth handled when it's still young and before it has a chance to develop a fear of this sort of handling. This will make it much less stressful for both you and your dog to brush your dog's teeth and have its teeth examined and cleaned by the vet.
Brush Your Puppy's Teeth
Many people don't realize they're supposed to brush their dogs' teeth. Luckily, special toothbrushes and toothpaste made just for dogs make this task easier. Some dog toothbrushes look a lot like human toothbrushes, while others fit right over your finger. Since dog toothpaste is usually flavored like chicken, beef, or peanut butter to best appeal to dogs, your puppy will most likely be glad to let you brush their teeth.
By following these steps you will help ensure that your puppy has healthy teeth for a long time to come. If your puppy experiences any dental issues, be sure to make an appointment with a dental vet (click here for more info).