Your dog has teeth. This is a fact. And if your dog has teeth, then he needs dental care. But you ask, “Is the dental health of my dog really important?” The answer is YES! Your dog’s dental health is very important.
A pet’s dental health is one of the most neglected yet one of the most important factors in providing your furry friend a good overall health. Even though dogs’ teeth are much stronger than human’s, they are still susceptible to tartar, plaque, gum disease and tooth decay. Poor oral health can lead to various diseases such as liver, heart and kidney problems. A dog who has an unhealthy mouth will also suffer from loss of appetite and depression.
How to Take Care of My Dog’s Oral Health?
Like any other creature, your dog needs oral well being. Having issues with your mouth can cause many problems, not to mention the discomfort of having painful teeth and gums. If you love your pet, you will make sure that his or her mouth is happy and healthy.
1. Start Them Young
Tooth brushing can be pretty uncomfortable when your dog is already an adult and dislikes how a tooth brush feels in his mouth. When he is a puppy, he is likely to find it like play. It can be a bit annoying for him but he will acclimate to tooth brushing much easier than if he was an adult.
2. Regular Vet Visits
Consulting your vet and having your dog’s teeth and mouth checked out can help you find out if your dog’s mouth is healthy or if he has any issues in there. The vet can also prescribe toothpaste or doggy treats that can clean out your dog’s mouth and teeth. Some veterinarians may find that your dog’s oral health is pretty bad and may need to do a dental procedure to clean up his teeth, gums and sometimes even remove teeth. These dental procedures need anesthesia and thus prevention is better than cure.
3. Make the Tooth Brushing Comfortable
Dogs are responsive and loving animals. If you speak to your dog gently and make him comfortable then you can expect less resistance from him as you clean his mouth. Try doing this task when your dog has already had his daily exercise and is pretty calm and docile.
When you brush his mouth, try choosing a tooth paste that has a delicious flavor like chicken or beef. Never use human toothpaste because this can harm the dog due to fluoride.
Gently brush your dog’s teeth at a 45 degree angle and with gentle strokes at first. After the brushing is done, give him a doggie treat so that he is more likely to want to have teeth brushed again. You can use dental doggie treats that have special properties that help clean a dog’s teeth.
4. Dry Dog Food Prevent Dental Problems
Wet food normally tends to stick on your dog’s teeth and get stuck in between them. This causes tartar, plaque and tooth decay. On the other hand, kibbles, according to veterinarians and experts help clean out your dog’s teeth and mouth. There are specialized dog treats that are used to clean your dog’s teeth. Dry food rubs on your dog’s teeth and helps remove surface build up.
5. Chew Toys and Chew Bones
Chew toys and chew bones helps your dog to get rid of tartar and clean the surface of his teeth. These toys also strengthen his teeth. On the other hand they are not enough to keep your dog’s teeth clean and free from disease. These toys however need to be sturdy so that they don’t break easily and damage your dog’s teeth.
6. Be Your Dog’s First Line of Defense
Being vigilant when it comes to your dog’s health can help him live happier, healthier and longer. You have to observe your dog’s mouth to know if he is having any problems. If you notice bad breath, sudden lethargy, loss of appetite, changes in his mouth and depression, then it may be a sign that he is suffering from teeth and gum problems.
Check his mouth for the following issues:
Tartar buildup on his teeth; check the front, back and the sides of his teeth.
Pinkish or reddish gums that look swollen
Discolored teeth; e.g. blacked teeth or severely colored teeth
Bleeding in the gums
Canker sores and ulcers in his mouth
If you notice any of this, please bring your dog to the vet right away since this may mean severe pain on the part of your dog.
Your dog needs your to be the one to watch out for his health. He cannot talk or tell you how he feels directly. Dogs are like little children that need our supervision and love to live happily. If you look after your dog and his teeth, can have a happy smile all through out his life.