Flossing dog’s teeth

We recently had the question: Besides brushing my dog’s teeth as regularly as possible, do I have to floss his teeth as well?

The answer is flossing a dog’s teeth is not usually possible (as they do not tolerate it or will not sit still), and it may damage the gums, so brushing is still the best option when it comes to home dental care.

There are other ‘tools’ that can be used to help keep your dog’s teeth clean along with brushing, such as dental chews and specifically designed dental diets.

Dental chews can reduce plaque and tartar by up to 65% if used daily, but it is important to use the right size – depending on the size of your dog –as they can either be a choking hazard, or be of no use, if your dog just chews it once and then swallows it. All dogs need a professional teeth cleaning under general anaesthesia about every six to 12 months, even if you brush their teeth regularly.

Dr Vanessa McClure, veterinarian

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