How important is your dog’s oral hygiene to his overall health? The answer is – it’s very important! In fact, dental disease in dogs is a very common problem.
If you don’t maintain your dog’s oral health, it can have a direct impact on his health. This includes keeping his heart, kidneys, liver, and digestive system healthy.
So let’s review the causes of dental disease in dogs and the changes you can make at home. I’ll also share some natural dog toothpaste options that work…
… PLUS natural remedies that help prevent dental disease in your dog.
The Importance Of Oral Hygiene To Your Dog
Dental disease in your dog can cause systemic diseases. Systemic means throughout the body and can include diseases like:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Cancer risks
It’s a two-way street in the body. Organs like the kidneys can be affected by poor oral health … but your dog’s oral health can also suffer if he has kidney disease.
This is why you want your dog’s oral to be at it’s best. And with regular checks, you can also pick up on other changes in his body sooner.
Dental Health And Your Dog … The Big Picture
Do your dog’s teeth and gums look like this, with beautiful white teeth and healthy-looking pink gums?
Or more like this poor dog?
Hopefully, there aren’t too many dogs out there with teeth and gums this bad!
But what if your dog’s mouth is somewhere in between, like the one below?
This dog has a bit of tartar and gum inflammation, and likely some bad breath.
Keep reading to learn how you can keep your dog’s mouth happier like the dog in the first picture.
3 Major Causes of Dental Disease In Dogs
So, what causes poor oral health in the first place?
Fight Dental Disease In Dogs With Better Nutrition
The strength of your dog’s teeth and gums comes mainly from the right diet. Nutrition is always the foundation of your dog’s overall health. So let’s look at some dental nutrition facts:
- Dogs fed a natural diet usually have healthy mouths. This includes diets with chewy muscle meat, raw meaty bones, and recreational bones.
- Natural diets provide the right habitat for your dog’s healthy oral microbiome. Natural live enzymes and “good” bacteria help prevent tartar build-up.
- Gnawing on the right bones is nutritious and good for your dog’s teeth and gums. Plus it also provides hours of enjoyment (chewing = mental health!). Chewing also exercises your dog’s neck and shoulder muscles as well as his mouth. This action helps stimulate his neurotransmitters in the brain for overall health too.
- A bad diet (meaning any kibble diet, however “premium” it is) can be a direct cause of weak teeth and weak gums.
Don’t take my word for it. Just watch this shocking study done by Australian veterinarian Dr Tom Lonsdale. Dr Lonsdale temporarily switched a group of raw fed dogs onto a kibble diet.
After just 17 days, dogs who’d started out with perfectly healthy teeth and gums got …
- Stinky breath
- Yellow teeth
- Sore bleeding gums
After just 17 days on kibble![Related: Top 5 Foods For Your Dog’s Teeth]
Avoid Veterinary Dental Cleanings
A healthy mouth is good for your dog’s overall health but there’s another strong incentive to keep it healthy …
… you’ll avoid having to put him through dental cleanings under anesthesia. Some dogs go through this every year!
It’s expensive, and it’s risky (dogs can and do die under anesthesia). This procedure shouldn’t be necessary if you take a few simple steps to keep your dog’s mouth healthy.
There are lots of steps you can take at home to keep your dog’s mouth healthy.[Related: Why It’s Important To Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean]
10 Tips To Maintain Your Dog’s Dental Health
We’ve talked about feeding your dog, a species-appropriate, whole food diet as a foundation. here are some of my favorite ways to prevent and treat dental disease in dogs.
#1 Give Your Dog Ozonated Water
Buy an ozone maker and create your own ozonated water. You can give it to your dog as drinking water or use it to flush out your dog’s mouth.
#2 Apply Ozonated Oils To Teeth And Gums
Buy ozonated oil (Pur03 is a brand I like, available at amazon.com and other places online).
The oils are infused with ozone until they take on a gel consistency. Ozone has powerful antibacterial properties and has been shown to promote healing.
Warning: The oils don’t taste great, but they do come in several different oils.
This will allow you to experiment and see which you and your dog like best. My favorite is sunflower oil as it holds the most ozone, is a natural source of vitamin D and has a long shelf life.
The best way to use the oil on your dog is to place it on a Q-tip and paint it on any teeth that have plaque to remove the plaque.
#3 Give A Daily Probiotic Supplement
Probiotic supplements help create a healthy bacterial environment in your dog’s mouth. I prefer soil-based probiotics like Four Leaf Rover’s Protect or Garden of Life’s Primal Defense. You can also use probiotic foods and here are some of my favorite ways to feed these to your dog.
#4 Feed Bone Broth
Make bone broth for your dog and feed it several times a week. It’s chock-full of minerals that really help strengthen teeth and gums. My favorite is oxtail for its powerful nutritional benefits.
Bone broth is really easy to make just follow this recipe.
#5 Make Your Own Eggshell Dog Toothpaste
This is a remineralizing toothpaste that’s easy to make for your dog. It’ll strengthen his teeth and help prevent or repair any cavities.
You can use a finger brush or a piece of gauze wrapped around your index finger in place of a brush. Just simply apply the toothpaste daily to your dog’s teeth.
- 1/4 cup of ground-up eggshells or calcium tablets
(If using eggshells, rinse them off then bake them for 15 – 20 minutes ate 450°F)
- Peppermint powder (my preference) or a drop of peppermint essential oil
- 1 – 3 tbsp of MCT oil
- 1 tbsp or less of baking soda
- Ground up eggshells or tablets until they are powdery fine. I like to use a coffee grinder for the eggshells or a food processor for the tablets.
- Mix everything together in a bowl, adding MCT oil until the mixture is a smooth consistency. I find you need more oil with tablets than with eggshells.
- Store in a small jar and scoop out a small amount when you’re ready to use some.
#6 Bee Propolis Tincture For Healing
Bee propolis is very healing and highly concentrated. It’s sticky, almost like a resin. It’s antibacterial, anti-parasitic and anti-viral. Bees use it to patch their hives! But you can use it in your dog’s mouth.
I use it to patch over areas of teeth that look really bad. Apply it if your dog looks like he might be getting an abscess, or use it to cover an exposed root.
If you need to apply it to a tooth, hold your dog’s lip out to let the tooth dry before applying the tincture. This will help it to stay on much longer.
#7 DIY Coconut Oil Dog Toothpaste For Gums
Coconut oil is antibacterial and is excellent for gums. You can use it on a finger brush or gauze wrapped around your finger. Just brush your dog’s teeth and gums with it instead of toothpaste.
#8 Aloe Vera For Pain
Aloe vera gel is tremendously soothing. Buy a natural, organic brand without any additives, not the stuff in a tube at the drugstore. Or just keep an aloe vera plant in your house and break off a leaf to use the gel inside. Place the gel directly on teeth and gums if your dog has any pain or inflammation in his mouth.[Related: Aloe For Dogs]
#9 DIY Calendula Dog Toothpaste
I can’t say enough good things about calendula. It’s antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and it soothes the mucous membranes. Calendula promotes normal healing of the skin and can be used for gingivitis.
A 2013 study 0f 240 patients in India found that calendula was effective in reducing dental plaque and gingivitis … in addition to oral prophylaxis.
Use an alcohol tincture diluted 1 part calendula to three parts spring water. Then apply it to the affected areas of your dog’s mouth.
#10 Homeopathic Remedies
In natural human dentistry, these homeopathic remedies are taking the place of cavity fillings. They’ll work to remineralize your dog’s teeth too.
- Calcarea phosphorica 6X
- Calcarea fluorica 6X
Place one tablet of each of these two remedies in a small bowl of spring water (not tap). You can then give the water to your dog every day for a month. This will help to strengthen teeth and bones and help prevent tooth decay.[Related: 12 Homeopathic Remedies For Your Dog]
Do Regular Dental Checks At Home
Check your dog’s mouth at least weekly. This helps you to catch any problem areas quickly so you can use these tips to help with any issues that come up.
Keep your dog’s mouth healthy and you’ll protect his overall health too. Remember, dental disease can be serious, so try for pearly whites for a healthy life!