7 Tips for Preventing and Treating Dental Disease in Dogs

February marks the start of National Dental Health Month – a time to recognize the importance of oral hygiene to your pet’s overall health. Periodontal disease is the #1 health issue plaguing dogs today. It’s estimated that over 80% of adult dogs over age 3 are affected. Dental disease is a common problem that can directly impact your dog’s vital organs like his heart, kidneys, liver and digestive system.

Aside from the fact that a healthy mouth is good for your dog’s overall health, there’s another strong incentive to keep your dog’s mouth healthy – you’ll avoid having to put him through dental cleanings at the vet every year! It’s expensive, risky, and shouldn’t be necessary if you take a few simple steps to keep your dog’s mouth healthy.

10 Tips to Maintain Your Dog’s Dental Health

#1 Feed a Raw Diet

Feeding a raw diet is the #1 way to ensure dental health for your pet. Natural, raw diets provide the right habitat for your healthy oral microbiome. Natural live enzymes and “good” bacteria can help prevent tartar build up.

Any kibble diet, even premium kibble, can be a direct cause of weak teeth and weak gums. This shocking study done by Australian veterinarian Dr. Tom Lonsdale shows the effects of raw fed dogs switched onto a kibble diet. After only 17 days, dogs who’d started with perfectly healthy teeth and gums got stinky breath, yellow teeth and sore, bleeding gums. 

#2 Feed Raw Recreational Bones

Regardless of whether you are feeding a raw diet, canned food, or kibble, we recommend giving a raw bone to your dog roughly once a week. Easing into feeding these bones is important to prevent digestive upset, and picking the correct size for your dog is just as important! Raw bones are nature’s toothbrushes, and effectively polish and scrape away tartar as the animal crunches and gnaws. Twelve-year-old Barkery dog Cai is showing off his pearly whites in this before and after photo – this progress is after just 6 months of raw bone feeding!Gnawing on bones is not only nutritious and good for your dog’s teeth and gums, but also provides hours of enjoyment, exercises your dog’s neck and shoulder muscles as well as his mouth, and even stimulates his neurotransmitters.

#3 Give a Daily Probiotic Supplement

Probiotic supplements can help create a healthy bacterial environment in your dog’s mouth. A 2009 study published in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association found that probiotics were effective in treating and preventing dental disease! You can do this by adding probiotics to your dog’s food daily in the form of fermented vegetables or kefir, or you can give your dog a probiotic supplement. One of our favorites is Carna4 Ground Sprouted Seeds, which are 10% off this month at the Barkery!

#4 Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

If your companion eats a well-balanced natural diet all the time, she will likely have strong, clean teeth and gums throughout her life, even without brushing. An occasional brushing is a good idea anyway, even if her teeth and gums appear perfectly healthy.

If your pet does not eat raw foods or bones on a regular basis, plan on brushing at least once a month. If her teeth appear yellow and prone to plaque, then brushing should occur at least once weekly.

Start by choosing a toothpaste and toothbrush designed for use in pets. Begin with brushing the outer surfaces of just one or two teeth per session, concentrating on the upper portions of the teeth along the gumline where tartar typically collects.

Another option is to have our experienced bathers do the work for you! Teeth brushing is an add-on service available to bath and groom appointments, and this month, all teeth brushing services are 1/2 off!

#5 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. Bone broth contains collagen, which is found both in our teeth and connective tissue that keeps teeth in place in the jaw. It’s also vital for improving bone density, which is vital for healthy teeth. Bone broth is really easy to make, or is also available to buy at your nearest Barkery.

#6 Try an Organic Kelp Enzyme

Thorvin is a mineral rich powder harvested form sea plants. It delivers a wide array of nutrients essential to your animal’s wellbeing, including thyroid health, shinier coats, clearer eyes, and dental health. Sprinkle this affordable powder on your pet’s dinner, and watch your animal thrive.

#7 Dental Care Treats

Some of our favorite dental chews at the Barkery come from QCHEFS. These all-natural dental chews reduce oral bacteria by up to 80%, help reduce and prevent plaque and tartar, and freshen your dog’s breath. These hard cheeses and chews are low in calories, easy to digest, and free of sugar, gluten, grain, lactose, and additives.


Aside from the fact that a healthy mouth is good for your dog’s overall health, there’s another strong incentive to keep your dog’s mouth healthy – you’ll avoid having to put him through dental cleanings at the vet every year! It’s expensive, risky, and shouldn’t be necessary if you take a few simple steps to keep your dog’s mouth healthy.

February is a month where you’re supposed to be thinking about your pet’s dental health. Like us, their smiles need maintenance. Thankfully, we’ve got all sorts of stuff to help. All Barkery dental products are 25% off this month, and tooth brushing services are half price with any bathing or grooming service in February. We’ll see you soon!