Dental care for adults
Teeth-brushing should be a lifelong habit for both you and your dog. The best way to make sure your dog has healthy teeth is to brush her teeth at least once a day. There are a few toothbrush options out there. Some dogs prefer rubber finger brushes, which always remind me of finger puppets and prompted some embarrassing wannabe puppeteer moments that even my dogs judged. Others like toothbrushes. You should always use a soft, small-headed toothbrush for pets, but this is especially true for small-breed dogs. Sticking a big old toothbrush in their mouths will be uncomfortable for them, and they will learn to dislike the entire process.
Doggy toothpaste comes in several flavors, from peanut butter to a whole lot of meat. My dog’s eyes get as round as saucers when I break out the tube no matter the flavor, but other dogs are pickier. If your dog has a food allergy, talk to your veterinarian about the best toothpaste for dogs with food allergies. Adult dogs, like puppies, need to chew, but not all dogs enjoy this activity.
If your dog does not like toys, you can always buy chewing treats designed to keep their teeth clean or feed a commercial dental diet designed to help clean their teeth as they eat. Several brands carry dental diets, and there are prescription diets available for dogs with serious issues with their chompers. Adulthood is also the time to start thinking about professional teeth-cleaning. Your veterinarian will advise you about the best time for your dog to get a dental cleaning, and they will also examine your dog’s mouth during regular visits to make sure there is nothing abnormal going on in there.