When caring for your Pug’s teeth, it’s essential to know the answers to questions about their dental hygiene, such as “How many teeth do Pugs have?” or “Are Pugs more vulnerable to tooth decay than other dogs?”
Like all dogs, they’ve got a mouth full of chompers. How many teeth do Pugs have, though? Pugs have 42 adult teeth, but their dental issues are unique from other breeds. As brachycephalic dogs, Pugs have shortened snouts, which can cause a range of issues related to dental health. The same number of teeth are crammed into a smaller space and as such over crowding and teeth aligned sideways are common. Their crowded teeth are vulnerable to trapping food and bacteria due to their mouth-breathing nature.
That’s why practicing dental hygiene for your Pug is crucial. From regular brushing to dental supplements, there are many ways to care for a Pug’s teeth.
Pick the process stage of dental care you would like to review first:
Before You Start
If you have any questions or concerns about your Pug’s dental health you should visit a veterinarian. Many times dentistry is required to get the mouth back to a good state of health so you can begin preventative care at home.
Good dental hygiene is only possible with the proper precautions and supplies. Before you start brushing your Pug’s teeth, here are a few useful tips to keep in mind.
1. Consult a Veterinarian
Consulting a veterinarian before caring for your Pug’s teeth is essential. Your vet can provide valuable guidance and support in developing your pet’s effective dental care routine. They can also diagnose and treat any dental issues that may arise.
When you take your Pug to the vet for a regular check-up, be sure to ask about their dental health. Your vet may perform a dental examination and offer recommendations for at-home dental care. That includes brushing techniques and dental chews or treats.
If you notice any signs of dental problems in your Pug, such as bad breath, swollen gums, or loose teeth, it’s important to consult your vet immediately. Dental issues can be painful for your pet and lead to more severe health problems if left untreated.
2. Schedule Professional Dental Care
If you find brushing your Pug’s teeth challenging or your vet recommends dental treatment is needed, schedule a professional dental care session instead. Even with consistent at-home care, your Pug may still develop dental issues that require professional treatment.
During a professional dental cleaning, your vet thoroughly examines your Pug’s teeth, gums, and mouth. They may also take dental X-rays to check for any underlying issues invisible to the naked eye.
If any dental issues are found, your vet will develop a treatment plan. That may include cleaning, extractions, or other procedures. Additionally, professional dental cleanings are typically done under general anesthesia. It allows your vet to thoroughly clean your Pug’s teeth and gums without causing discomfort.
3. Get the Necessary Supplies
Getting the necessary supplies is essential in caring for your Pug’s teeth. Before you begin any at home dental care routine, you’ll need to ensure you have all the required supplies. It’s the only way to make the process as easy and effective as possible.
The first thing you’ll need is a high-quality toothbrush designed specifically for dogs. Pugs have small mouths, so a toothbrush with a smaller head is ideal. You may also want to consider a finger brush. These are typically more comfortable for your Pug and easier to maneuver.
Next, you’ll need toothpaste specifically designed for dogs. Do not use human toothpaste, as it can contain ingredients that are harmful to pets. Dog toothpaste is available in various flavors, so you can choose one your Pug likes.
During the Process
Brushing a Pug’s teeth may seem simple enough. However, remembering certain tips, like being patient and choosing dental supplements, can make the process much easier.
4. Be Gentle and Patient
When caring for your Pug’s teeth, it’s important to be gentle and patient. They may resist having their teeth brushed or examined at first, but you can help your pet become more comfortable with patience and positive reinforcement.
If your Pug is new to dental care, start by gently touching their lips and gums to get them used to the sensation. Once they are comfortable with this you can move on to applying toothpaste to their mouth with a finger. Continue to progress towards achieving actual tooth brushing in a stepwise manner. Ensuring your dog’s comfort before progressing to the next stage. This may take several weeks.
A soft-bristled toothbrush can also help prevent gum irritation and make brushing more comfortable for your Pug.
Most importantly, don’t rush the process or force your Pug to endure a stressful dental care session. You may take breaks as needed and always end on a positive note.
5. Brush Your Pug’s Teeth
Brushing your Pug’s teeth regularly is an important part of their dental care routine. Here’s a full step-by-step guide on how to brush your Pug’s teeth:
6. Consider Supplemental Dental Care
In addition to regular toothbrushing, supplements can also effectively promote your Pug’s dental health. Some popular dental supplements include probiotics, water additives, powders and enzymes.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that may help promote healthy digestion and immune function. They can also help control harmful bacteria in your Pug’s mouth that can lead to dental problems.
Water additives can help to reduce plaque build up and freshen breath.
Dental powders act in various ways depending on ingredients to reduce plaque and tartar.
On the other hand, enzymatic toothpaste can help break down deposits in your Pug’s mouth. This reduces the buildup of harmful bacteria and plaque.
You can also consider omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce inflammation in your Pug’s mouth which contributes significantly to gum disease.
After Care Tips
Veterinary dental care doesn’t end with regular brushing. The best way to maintain dental hygiene for your Pug is with follow-up precautions around the clock.
7. Encourage Drinking Water Regularly
Encouraging your Pug to drink water regularly is an important aspect of maintaining their dental health. So, make sure that your Pug has access to fresh, clean water at all times. Change the water in their bowl at least once a day so they’re more willing to drink.
Additionally, choose a sturdy, non-toxic bowl that is easy to clean. It’s best to avoid using plastic bowls, which can harbor bacteria and may cause problems in some dogs.
8. Pay Attention to Your Pug’s Diet
Your Pug’s diet can significantly influence its dental health. Feeding your Pug high-quality dry dog food designed for its age and size can help keep its teeth clean and healthy. Look for dog food that includes a recommendation to support dental health.
Avoid giving your Pug sugary and starchy foods, which can form plaque and tartar on their teeth. Additionally, consider incorporating dental treats and chews into their diet. This can help scrape away plaque and tartar while providing them with mental stimulation of chewing.
Lastly, consult your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your Pug’s needs. You must also monitor their food intake to ensure that they are maintaining a healthy weight. A healthy diet for your Pug can go a long way toward promoting good dental hygiene and overall health.
9. Monitor Your Pug’s Dental Hygiene
Monitoring your Pug’s dental hygiene ensures their teeth and gums stay healthy. Regularly check your Pug’s teeth and gums for signs of problems, such as bad breath, swollen gums, or loose or missing teeth. If you notice any issues, consult with your veterinarian right away.
10. Use Tooth-friendly Treats and Toys
Using tooth-friendly toys and treats is another way to promote your Pug’s dental health. Look for dental chews or toys designed to help clean your dog’s teeth and massage their gums. These can help remove plaque and tartar buildup and keep their teeth and gums healthy.
However, be sure to choose safe and appropriate products for your Pug’s age and chewing habits. Avoid any products that are too hard or may cause choking hazards.
The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) assesses dog and cat dental products for safety and efficacy. Look for the VOHC seal of approval on products such as dental treats, water additives, toothpastes and chews.
You can also offer fresh, crunchy fruits and vegetables as treats.
Caring for a Pug’s teeth is essential for maintaining its overall health and well-being. As a brachycephalic breed, Pugs require special attention when it comes to dental hygiene. By prioritizing dental care for your Pug, you can help prevent dental disease and maintain good oral hygiene.
Featured Image Credit: Matt Benoit, Shutterstock