If you don’t already, it’s time to start thinking about your canine’s canines. Promoting your dog’s oral hygiene is essential to keeping him comfortable and in good health. These guidelines will get you started.

START WITH A SOFT CLOTH
Dental care should start as early as possible. Get your dog accustomed to regularly having his teeth cleaned at home while he’s still a puppy.

Start by gently rubbing his teeth with a soft cloth, a child-size soft toothbrush, or dog toothbrush—plus toothpaste specially formulated for dogs.

AVOID HUMAN TOOTHPASTE
Human toothpaste should never be used on your dog. Human toothpaste is meant to be spit out, but your dog will inevitably swallow whatever you put in his mouth. This can lead to an upset stomach.

Ask your vet for a recommendation on canine toothpaste. While humans prefer their mouths minty fresh, most dogs are happier with a poultry flavored toothpaste. It might not smell great to you, but it’s sure to get your dog more excited about his daily brushing.

WORK UP TO DAILY BRUSHING
Brushing daily is the best way to keep your dog’s teeth in top-top shape—but several times a week will make a big difference as well. Choose times when your dog is relaxed or tired, like before bed or after a walk.

TRY TOOTH-FRIENDLY DOG FOODS
Dry, crunchy foods can also be helpful in keeping teeth clean. As the dog chews, particles from the dry food scrape against his teeth, acting like a toothbrush to help remove plaque.

Your dog’s dental hygiene is key to his overall health. These guidelines can help empower you to keep your dog looking and feeling his best.