Brushing Up on Dental Health
Help your puppy stay healthy by keeping his teeth in tip-top shape.
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What kinds of toys should I be giving my puppy? "Rawhide is best," Dr. Sitzman says. "But owner awareness is critical. Really aggressive chewers can bite off the ends and swallow them. This happens rarely, but it does happen. For this reason, flat rawhide is better than compressed or rolled rawhide, which comes apart more easily. Hard rubber toys are good, too, but not for aggressive chewers. You need to know your animal."
For puppies, Dr. Lyon recommends fabric toys that don't tear, rope knots and toys made of terry cloth, soft silicone or rubber. Dr. Bellows advises owners against giving their puppies or dogs any chew toys that are harder than their teeth. This includes cow hooves and many nylon-based chews. "Also, avoid tug-o-war games. These can fracture teeth or pull them out," Dr. Bellows notes.
A Great Future
It's never too early to care for your puppy's teeth. By starting now with a sensible home-care routine, and scheduling regular dental checkups with a vet, you can prevent a lot of serious problems down the road, and help to ensure a healthy, pain-free future for your dog.
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