Brush your teeth twice daily to ensure good dental hygiene. This is what we learned as kids and still implement in our daily lives. Then why do we overlook dental hygiene when it comes to our dogs? A majority of pet parents do not pay enough attention to their dog’s dental hygiene and have little awareness regarding their dog’s dental health.
Not maintaining good dental hygiene can affect your dog’s overall health.
Here are some things you should know on how to keep your dog’s pearly canines shining bright.
What is dental disease in dogs?
Unawareness regarding dog grooming, irregular vet checkups, irregular brushing, age, food/diet are some reasons your dog might develop dental diseases and plaque on their teeth.
Dental diseases are caused due to the buildup of plaque on the tooth enamel. Dental disease can affect your dog’s teeth, gums and the structure around your dog’s teeth.
If the plaque is not cleared, it can build up into tartar. The tartar on the surface can be easily removed by a professional dog groomer or a vet but the tartar that reaches below the gum line and is not visible to you can be a real problem.
Tartar below the gum line can cause infection, damage and inflammation near the teeth structure. If the dental disease reaches this stage, your dog can experience severe pain and problems.
What are the signs of dental disease in your dog?
It is advisable to ask your vet to do a dental checkup during your regular visits because your dog might not show outward signs of dental problems.
Some signs of dental problems you should look out for:
Change in chewing habits
Yellow or brown crust on the surface of the teeth
Tooth loss/ loose teeth
Refusal or inability to eat/drink
* If you notice any of these signs, call your vet at the earliest.
Importance of dental hygiene for your dog:
Taking care of your dog’s dental health is critical to maintaining their overall health. Here are some reasons why you should care for your dog’s dental hygiene.
Preventing tooth loss:
Over time, the structure that supports your dog’s teeth can become infected or get damaged. The prolonged damage can cause the teeth to move and fall out. By taking care of your dog’s dental hygiene you can make sure that this teeth structure is strong and healthy. This will make sure your dog’s teeth are healthy and make it easier for them to chew and play. If dental problems are not addressed, your dog may stop eating due to the pain and that may result in malnutrition.
Preventing bad breath:
Your dog’s breath does not have to smell good at all times, you need to be alert and look out for bad breath that is chronic. In medical terms, bad breath is known as Halitosis. When your dog has a healthy mouth and healthy teeth, their sloppy kisses become all the more lovable.
Preventing oral pain:
When dental diseases become severe, it can lead to a lot of oral pain for your dog. It is best to keep this pain at bay and take precautions to maintain healthy and strong teeth.
Preventing organ damage:
In severe cases, bacteria from the plaque can enter the bloodstream and reach the heart, kidneys and liver. This is called Bacteremia. Bacteremia can cause serious health problems in your dog. Good dental hygiene can help you avoid Bacteremia caused due to poor oral hygiene and its subsequent effects on your dog’s organs.
Preventing dental diseases from becoming severe:
If you start caring for your dog’s dental care from the very beginning, it will help in preventing severe diseases and/or further damage to their teeth.
What can you do to maintain good dental hygiene?
Now that you know why dental hygiene for dogs is important, here are some ways you can stave off possible dental problems.
*Always speak to your vet or a professional dog groomer who can guide you in taking the best care of your pet’s dental hygiene.
Professional dental cleaning:
One of the best ways to improve your dog’s dental hygiene is to opt for a professional cleaning from a vet or a dog grooming service. This will ensure thorough cleaning and scrubbing above and below the gum line. Some vets may administer anesthesia to your dog to allow them to clean the teeth completely.
Ask your vet to check your dog’s teeth on your regular visits to identify and avoid potential dental problems. Also, ask them about how often you should be cleaning your dog’s teeth and what are the best methods to maintain good dental hygiene.
Regular brushing and cleaning:
Brushing your dog’s teeth is not an easy task, you have to ease your dog and make them comfortable with the whole brushing process. Here’s one way to do it:
*Always use pet-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush and never put your fingers inside your dog’s mouth.
Appy some pet-friendly toothpaste to a pet-friendly toothbrush and rub it gently on your pet’s teeth. You don’t necessarily have to work on the inside teeth. Focus on the outer part of the teeth, as this is where most of the tartar buildup is. Brush in downwards motion for the upper teeth and upward motion for the bottom teeth.
Adding foods that support dental health:
There are a variety of supplements and food options that can support your dog’s dental hygiene. Speak to a vet or a dog nutritionist to provide you with a diet plan that can support and improve your dog’s dental health.
Apart from this ask your vet about gels, drinking water additives, chew toys and chew sticks that can further develop in maintaining strong and healthy teeth.
A combination of the above methods should ensure that your dog’s dental health is always in top-notch condition.
We hope this helps in keeping your dog’s canines sparkly and shiny, always.
Esha Sinha is a seasoned writer who has over the years contributed quality content on various high-profile websites. She has particularly excelled in niches like Fashion, Business, Entrepreneurship, Education, Pet Healthcare, etc. Her professionalism, four year’s experience, and expertise make her one of the most sought-after content writers in the field.