Did you know that February is National Pet Dental Health Month in the U.S.?
While we may have the month of February to celebrate Pet Dental Health, your Frenchie’s dental health should be a DAILY ROUTINE just like caring for your own teeth and gum health.
Did you also know that over 70% of dogs will have some degree of canine periodontal disease by the age of 3 if dental and gum health is not an established routine from puppyhood? Left untreated, this can cause severe systemic disease. (according to the American Veterinary Dental College).
If you didn’t know any of these facts, you’re not alone. Many dog owners overlook the importance of oral hygiene. A first sign of early dental disease can be bad breath. This often is overlooked because most owners think that bad breath (or puppy breath) is normal. A little puppy breath is not always a sign of bad things to come but if the smell is pungent enough to make your eyes water, then it’s time to start a dental care routine.
What Is Canine Perodontal Disease (Periodontitis)?
Despite the scary sounding name, canine periodontal disease is actually the most common type of dental disease in dogs. Long term build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth can trigger inflammation which over time will affect the surrounding gum and bone structures. This leads to periodontal disease and can ultimately lead to tooth loss, abscesses, and systemic infections (and sometimes heart disease), which can spread throughout your Frenchie’s body.
There are a lot of dental and gum care products on the market for you to use to keep your Frenchie’s teeth, gums, and tongue healthy year-round. We’ve got you covered with the options and the tips so keep reading. But keep in mind that every Frenchie is different so you may need to try several different routines to find the one that fits your Frenchie best.
Brushing Your Frenchie's Teeth
If you didn’t know this was a thing, YES, it’s a thing and it’s a great way to prevent plaque buildup just like in humans. It’s recommended that you brush your Frenchie’s teeth once a day. Make sure that you use a canine toothpaste NOT a human toothpaste. Human toothpastes have ingredients that can be toxic for Frenchies and other dogs. Also make sure that you use a dog toothbrush. These come in several different options like an actual toothbrush and a rubber one that fits over your finger.
There are dog dental kits available that include the canine toothpaste, a brush/fingertip brush. One of the most well-know brands is Virbac C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kit for dogs
Canine Dental Treats
Frenchies LOVE treats and if your Frenchie is particularly food-driven then you’re in luck! Canine dental treats are an excellent way to not only improve your Frenchies oral hygiene but to maintain it year-round. There are multitudes of canine dental treats on the market. The ones that are my “go-to” are the Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste Dental Chews.
These are the treats that I used to help turn around my first Frenchie’s periodontal disease and return his teeth and gums to perfect health AND avoiding expensive anesthetic dental cleaning.
If your Frenchie doesn’t take to those, test out a few other options to see what works best.
Canine Dental Powder
ProDen Plaque Off Powder is a dental powder that you can easily sprinkle on top of your Frenchie’s food to help bad breath and tartar and plaque buildup. Apply to every meal for the best results!
Dental Water Additive
There are multitudes of these on the market and I’ve tested on several. The one I landed on as the go-to is the Oxyfresh Detnal Care Water Additive because it’s safe for dogs, cats, and even birds. Not all Pet Dental Water Additives are safe for all 3 but this one has you covered. The water additive helps freshen breath and kills plaque-building bacteria. It is also tasteless so your Frenchie won’t even notice. What YOU might notice is that this additive tends to actually whiten and brighten your Frenchie’s teeth along with the other benefits. Perfect for those family photos around special occasions.
Prescription Dental Food
I know that every Frenchie is different so it’s tough to say that there is one style of oral hygiene that works for all Frenchies. If your Frenchie just simply won’t take to any of the treatments described above, then you may want to opt for a prescription dental food. These types of foods are good for Frenchies who are very prone to dental and gum issues like periodontal disease.
Here are some options for you to explore.
These are all kibble and are formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists. They have all been through clinical trials to test their efficiency. Again, all are prescription so you will need to consult with your veterinarian first on what they suggest as the best option for your Frenchie.
Anesthetic Professional Dental Cleanings
Even with all of these wonderful options we just went through, it is always important to have your Frenchie’s teeth looked at regularly on their visits to your veterinarian. Just like our teeth, tartar will still build up over time on your Frenchie’s teeth. We all need to pay our dentist a visit regularly to check in on the health of our teeth and gums and the same goes for your Frenchie.
Many of the treatments a veterinarian will recommend are administered under anesthesia. This is used so that your Frenchie is completely asleep and the veterinary dentist can clean the tarter from their teeth and gums thoroughly.
Check in with your veterinarian on how often they recommend dental cleanings.
Non-Anesthetic Professional Dental Cleanings
There are options available in Los Angeles for low-risk, Non-Aesthetic Professional Dental Cleanings. I’ve included the link to the service we have here in West Hollywood. This is an alternative to anesthesia. Ask your veterinarian for suggestions on this and also conduct your own research to see if services like these are available in your area.
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