We’re going to tackle a question that is asked surprisingly often: “Do puppies need a dentist?” Perhaps you haven’t considered this question yourself yet–bringing home a puppy is a joy for any family, and introducing them to their new family and getting them settled in usually takes priority. Still, dental care will become a vital part of your puppy’s routine and remain a fixture in their care for the duration of their life. We’ll explore when to start caring for your puppy’s teeth, the importance of pet dental care, and how to introduce your puppy to teeth brushing. For more personalized treatment advice or to book an appointment, call our clinic today at (908) 359-2000.
When to Start Dental Care for Your Puppy
When you first welcome a puppy into your home, you need to start thinking about their dental health as soon as possible. But when is it the right time to start? Generally, puppies start teething around three to six months of age. This is the perfect time to begin their dental care routine. As their baby teeth fall out and their adult teeth come in, it’s important to monitor this process to ensure their teeth are developing correctly.
The Importance of Dental Care for Puppies
Do puppies need a dentist?
The answer is a resounding yes! Just like humans, puppies can suffer from dental issues like plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay. These problems can begin developing early in your pet’s life, and lead to more serious health issues if they are left unaddressed. Starting a dental care routine early is critical to preventing dental issues and maintaining your puppy’s dental health (and overall health) for as long as possible.
Introducing Your Puppy to Teeth Brushing
The best way to make dental care a positive bonding experience with your pet is to start them young. Puppies can be rambunctious and hard to keep still at times, but you just need to spend a few minutes out of each day getting them used to being handled and having their teeth touched.
Here are some tips to make the process easier:
Choose the Right Time: Start when your puppy is calm and relaxed, perhaps after a meal or playtime.
Pick Appropriate Tools: Use a toothbrush designed for puppies and pet-safe toothpaste.
Go Slowly: Let your puppy sniff and taste the toothpaste first. Touch their teeth and gums lightly with your finger, then use the toothbrush to do the same, so there aren’t any surprises. Then, gently brush a few teeth to start, gradually increasing each time.
Be Patient and Consistent: Regular brushing is key. It might take time for your puppy to get used to it, but patience and consistency will pay off. If necessary, just brush a few teeth at a time, then give your puppy a break.
Reward Your Puppy: After each brushing session, reward your puppy with a treat, praise, pets, or their favorite game. This builds positive associations with teeth brushing.
Remember, while regular brushing at home is important, professional dental checkups are also a necessary part of your pet’s care. At Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, we can help ensure your puppy’s teeth are healthy and provide guidance for their ongoing dental care routine.
Let Our Team Help with Your Puppy’s Dental Needs
We’ve covered the importance of dental care for puppies and how to introduce them to teeth brushing. Remember, starting dental care early can prevent future health issues and ensure your puppy grows up healthy and happy. If you have any concerns about your puppy’s dental health or need to visit the “puppy dentist,” give us a call at (908) 359-2000. At Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, we’re here to help with all your puppy’s health needs.