Brushing a dog’s teeth isn’t an easy task for most dog owners. Different dog personalities take to teeth brushing in different ways, while some do their best to avoid the process entirely. The hassle that can often accompany at-home dental hygiene for dogs can leave owners looking for alternatives.
Toothpaste, after all, can be messy — especially when uncooperative dogs are involved.
The marketplace of alternatives to traditional toothbrush and dog-specific toothpaste, formulated specifically for dogs to ingest safely, is flooded with other options. From teeth wipes to powders and oils, dog owners have an abundance of alternatives to try.
But, do those alternatives actually work? And do they completely replace the benefits that come from brushing a dog’s teeth, either at home or by a professional veterinarian offering affordable teeth cleaning, like the team at Dr. Kelly’s Vet? Here’s a look at a few natural methods dog owners are using.
Carrots. Dogs, universally, love a treat — especially if it’s human food. Because carrots require chewing, whether they are given whole or as a baby carrot, the action helps a dog clear residual food off teeth and stimulates the production of saliva. Carrots are also said to help clear plaque off the surface of teeth because they are an abrasive vegetable that takes some time to chew and swallow. However, carrots can pose a choking hazard and they can be difficult for a dog to digest.
Coconut oil. A number of dog owners in search of toothpaste alternatives swear by using coconut oil in its place. Used the same way toothpaste is, owners apply it to a toothbrush or a finger brush and brush a dog’s teeth and gums with it. It is said to help reduce gingivitis, kill harmful bacteria and improve breath. But, coconut oil could potentially lead to cholesterol problems, weight gain in some dogs and impact the hardening of the arteries.
Baking soda. Dog owners looking for toothpaste alternatives should avoid using baking soda when brushing their dog’s teeth. Its alkalinity is dangerous for dogs and can lead to digestive problems and upset stomachs. Some natural alternatives suggest mixing baking soda with other substances, and that is also not recommended.
While dog owners are encouraged to implement a regular tooth brushing routine, to best prevent the development of gingivitis and gum disease, at Dr. Kelly’s Vet we understand that it’s sometimes easier said than done at home. That’s why our team offers affordable teeth cleaning for dogs, making dental hygiene easier and more accessible.
The importance of dental care for dogs can’t be overstated. Healthy teeth and gums improves quality of life, helps maintain overall health and allows dogs to eat without pain or difficulty.
If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s dental health, connect with our team at Dr. Kelly’s Vet. We’re happy to answer your questions and get you scheduled for a visit.
Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit is a trusted veterinary team serving the Phoenix, Peoria and Tucson metro areas, with accessible locations in each market, offering highly specialized surgery, quality spay and neuter procedures, and accessible dental care for pets. Contact us to learn more about our specialized services or to schedule an appointment.