The American Veterinary Dental Society did a study that said Oral disease is the number one health problem diagnosed in dogs. Taking better care of your dogs teeth will contribute to them living a longer, healthier life.
Take care of tartar – The combination of food debris, saliva and bacteria will form into plaque and in time will turn into tartar.
- Left untreated, tartar can lead to gingivitis. If that is left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, causing painful red swollen gums, bleeding, bad breath, receding gums, and tooth loss.
Get professional care – The first step in maintaining your dog’s dental health is to have your veterinarian perform a dental examination.
- If your pet’s teeth are healthy, your vet will probably recommend a maintenance dental care program at home.
- The vet’s program will likely recommend that you feed your dog dry food as opposed to wet. The dry food will help keep the plaque and tartar build-up under control.
- The vet will also recommend brushing your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Only use toothpaste specified for animals—human toothpaste will upset your dog’s stomach.
Practice at-home dental care
- When you introduce the concept of brushing to your dog, put him at ease by gently running your finger over his teeth.
- You may even dip your finger in beef bouillon to make it more pleasant and palatable for him. Make the first few sessions short and give lots of praise.
- After a few sessions, move on to using gauze or a soft wash cloth coated with some toothpaste. Be sure to continue praising your dog.
- After your pet has accepted the gauze/wash cloth, switch to the actual toothbrush.
- Always use a soft toothbrush designed for dogs or cats and gently brush his teeth in a circular motion.
Reward your dog with chewable oral hygiene treats so they know it is delicious to have clean teeth. Chew toys with nubs and are made specifically for dental care are the best types of toys to always have available.
Did you know that taking better care of your dogs teeth can actually prevent major heart and health issues later on in life?