Tips to Prevent Poor Oral Health for Dogs

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As much as I love dogs, I am very picky when it comes to the breed of dog that I bring into our family. I weigh the pros and cons of the breed characteristics so that I know they will be a good fit and live a long, healthy and happy life with us! When I was thinking about bringing home two Shetland Sheepdogs, I did my research and found that some of the cons were poor oral health for dogs like Shelties and that they liked to bark a lot.

I loved the Shetland Sheepdog breed so much that I didn’t let either of those things dissuade me.


I am so glad that I didn’t, because Bailey and Toby are the best dogs ever! I always joke online that they (and Foxy too, of course) are my furbabies, but I am being totally serious. My pets have become such a part of our family that I just love them to pieces!

I read up on how to prevent poor oral health for dogs before I even brought them home! Because Shetland Sheepdogs are prone to poor oral health, I found that they should be fed lots of crunchy treats to help cleanse their teeth and keep their gums healthy. I have always fed them treats like Pedigree Dentastix treats, which can actually reduce tartar build-up up to 80%.  . Foxy, Bailey and Toby all love Dentastix treats and I always stock up when they are on sale because they eat them once a day.

Bailey recently turned four years old and Toby is two years old. While Bailey is a generally healthy dog, he began showing signs of gum irritation after about a year, and I had to take him to the vet to have his teeth cleaned before it got any worse. The vet said he had gingivitis, which I didn’t even know dogs could get! He went on a prescription to clear it up and they cleaned his teeth for me. Before I left, one of the vet techs gave me a few tips to prevent poor oral health for dogs – and they are all really simple to follow.

Tips to Prevent Poor Oral Health For Dogs

  1. Take your dog to the vet for annual dental check ups. When I take my dogs in for their annual vaccinations, I have the vet take a look at their teeth to see if they need to be cleaned. When tartar builds up on your dog’s teeth, gingivitis and tooth decay aren’t far behind. Avoid serious dental issues by staying ahead of the problem!
  2. Don’t give your dogs rawhide chew toys. I know that it is very common for people to give their dogs rawhide, but for many breeds, their mouths are too delicate to handle them. Bailey and Toby can’t have rawhide because it makes their gums bleed, so we don’t give them to Foxy either.
  3. Feed your dogs treats that are designed to prevent poor oral health for dogs . As I mentioned before, we use Pedigree Dentastix treats and the dogs love them!

Pedigree Dentastix treats are clinically proven to reduce up to 80% of tartar build-up, and are proven to reduce plaque build-up too!  A healthy mouth begins with healthy gums. We have tried other oral health-focused dog treats but Bailey and Toby won’t eat them. They actually get excited when I pull out the Dentastix bag because they really are a treat!

Do you have a dog of your own? If so, you can enter to win a $100 gift card just by sharing how you maintain good oral health for your dog!

Just leave me a comment telling me one specific thing that you do to maintain good oral health for your canine friends and a winner will be randomly drawn on March 19, 2013.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Dentastix brand. The opinions and text are all mine.

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  1. anissa g says

    My dog is allergic to protein so most treats we can’t give her. She loves carrots which is actually great for her teeth. She loves every type of veggie too except mushrooms. We also brush her teeth with a doggie tooth brush & doggie tooth paste once a week. I did find just find in a pet store, Zukes Z Bones treats that don’t have protein and is plant based.

  2. Mary W says

    I have 4 large dogs. They chew on Goliath size Nylabones as much as they want. These are the safest chewies on the market and promote excellent dental health.Nylabones have no calories and make a great companion to Pedigree Dentastix treats.

  3. says

    I have two dogs, a Jack Russell named Achilles and a Rat Terrier named Chopper. They are the absolute loves of life. However, being of the terrier breed they are prone to bad breath. I do what I can to maintain their oral hygiene by brushing with vet recommended tooth paste and feeding them clean breath cookies and chews. Unfortunately the only thing that really seems to work is getting their teeth professionally cleaned by a vet, as you may imagine this can be incredibly costly. I feel like I am out of options. Do you have any other suggestions ?

    FYI: It cost about $200, plus the cost of medications to get each of the dogs teeth cleaned. The $100 GC would definitely help offset the cost of the cleaning.

    Lori Hagey

  4. Susan P. says

    We give our dogs Greenies, Dentastix and the small Nylabones to help keep their teeth healthy. Our vet doesn’t charge as much as Lori’s does for cleaning their teeth.

  5. Margaret Smith says

    We bring our Dog yearly to the vet to have his teeth cleaned. We also brush his teeth weekly and give him treats that promote better breath and helps keep his teeth clean.

  6. Amber says

    We do brush our dog’s teeth, but in between brushing we give him greenies because it’s healthy and helps maintain the strength and condition of his teeth!

  7. Deanna G. says

    I have doggie toothpaste & a toothbrush for my puppy. I try and brush her teeth often but she hates it!

  8. says

    My best tip is to go for the good food. Go for foods that are meant to be healthy for oral care. I also only feed in the morning, so he has all day to rinse his mouth out while drinking water!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  9. Stephanie Phelps says

    I have a small dog and I use a toddler toothbrush for her and make sure to play with her with a rope toy that can help floss her little teeth as she bites in to it!

  10. Katy M says

    I actually brush my Doug’s teeth. He’s 2 now, but as a puppy I got the puppy toothpaste and started by rubbing it on his gums. He loved the taste, so I moved from that to putting it on a finger brusher and brushing that way. Now he is used to it so I can actually brush his teeth. I do it a couple of times a week and the vet always comments on how great they look!

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    katygmorris at gmail dot com

  11. Nadine L says

    My dogs live for their Greenies, Dentastix and Nylabones, they get so happy to see them coming out of the package. Makes me happy that their teeth are benefiting from it.

  12. Erin Collins says

    I get my dogs’ teeth deep-cleaned every 2 years and surface-cleaned every few months (when they get groomed).

  13. says

    My two toy Australian Shepherds get their teeth cleaned once a month when they get groomed. In between, I also give them “treats” that are designed to clean their teeth as well.

    Btw, like you my Aussies are my furbabies – love them to pieces even tho they shed like crazy LOL Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Heidi Schuster says

    As Auntie to 3 chocolate lab boys (Baxter is 8, Mason is 5 & Patton is almost 2) I know my sister takes the time every morning to brush their teeth. She started when each boy was young so now every morning they line up for their turn!
    When they come over to visit me they know they get a rawhide bone but only after they tell me they love me by barking once!

  15. Geoff K says

    We only feed our pup dry food and treats, and we often will buy rawhide and bones designed to strengthen his teeth and remove plaque.

  16. Jennifer Reed says

    We give our dog the Pedigree Dentastix too and have regular veterinary checkups including dental exams.

  17. Brandy B says

    I have heard of people actually brushing their dogs’ teeth but there’s no way I’m going that far! We have 2 small chihuahuas and they love the DentaStix Fresh. Believe me, they need it! 😀

  18. Molly K says

    We give him treats that are designed to help with tartar build up and we also try to brush his teeth about once per month.

  19. Erica C. says

    I give my guy bones to chew on to help his teeth…and he always goes to the vet for his regular visit!

  20. carol le... says

    We give him chews and toys and can see quite a difference just from that. We also have him teeth cleaned at the dentist and they don’t put him to sleep for that,

  21. melissa vosburgh says

    We have a schnauzer mix we rescued and her breath was So bad ! We have always used Dentastix, it really did minimize how much we had to brush her teeth.
    Thanks for the giveaway opp

  22. says

    I don’t know if this is proven, but we give our golden retriever carrots. She loves them and they seem to clean her teeth. We also give her a Milkbone before bedtime.
    wendy2lindsey at yahoo dot com

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