It’ll come as no surprise that your dog has smelly breath, they’re eating meat flavoured kibble or in some cases, raw meat.
We aren’t trying to say your dog needs a Sony electric toothbrush and it’s own doggy mouthwash, but his/her dental hygiene is more important than you think.
If dental issues go unnoticed, your pooch can end up with tooth loss and more serious health problems. Take a look at these ways to provide the best dog dental care, protect your dog’s teeth from decay and keep your vet bills from hiking.
Brushing Every Day
We get it, this seems excessive. Surely, if they were out in the wild they wouldn’t have someone at hand to brush their gnashers every morning? Okay true. However, dogs these days are eating food with potentially higher sugar and fat content as well as treats that can lead to a build-up of bacteria on their teeth and gums.
Brushing every day from the age of three will make sure your dog’s teeth and gums are strong and healthy, significantly reducing the chance they’ll develop oral problems in the future. You don’t want to be stuck with a hefty vet’s bill after your doggy has been in for teeth cleaning, x-rays and tooth removal to determine the extent of the gum disease.
Take a look at this handy guide to help you achieve the best dog dental care:
Be Patient – If your dog isn’t used to having you poking about in their mouth they may not like it. Take it slowly and don’t worry if they don’t take to it right away.
Persevere – It’s important to keep up the brushing well into your doggy’s adult life, so try to make it a regular occurrence and don’t skip days as they’ll benefit from routine.
Don’t Worry – There’s no wrong way to do it unless you aren’t doing it at all. If they don’t like the toothpaste try another flavour or do it without. If they aren’t keen on the brush you can always use your finger.
As well as that when you think your doggy is ready you can use a specially formulated toothpaste like this one.
Feeding Them The Right Diet
As well as brushing, the right diet can be instrumental in good dog dental care. If your doggy eats a lot of wet food they’re going to have more of that stuck in their mouth and around their gums.
By contrast, if your dog eats dry food it’s naturally abrasive texture will act as a cleaner for their teeth. Kibble is proven to be cleansing for dogs’ teeth as the pieces help to reduce the build-up of tar.
Think about it – if you were to eat nothing but Nutella without brushing your teeth, you’d have a sugary layer over them. If you ate chocolate biscuits instead the texture wouldn’t cling to your teeth, therefore, causing less damage.
As well as issues with wet food, raw food can be potentially dangerous for your doggy’s oral health. The bones and gristle that can be found in raw meat can sometimes chip or even break their teeth. This is why doggies should always be supervised when eating raw food to stop them from doing any harm to themselves.
We aren’t saying that dry kibble is the only option, but it’s the best choice when considering keeping their teeth as clean as possible and providing the right dog dental care.
Dog chews are vital in maintaining a dog with a happy, healthy mouth. This doesn’t mean ones they can eat, but everything from chew toys to bones can have a positive impact on your dog’s teeth.
The ridges on the chews and their abrasive texture mean they reach the harder to access back teeth and help keep them clean between brushes.
Don’t rely on chews alone, and always make sure you’re brushing your doggy’s teeth as well! Also, be aware of what ingredients are in the chews as ones with a high sugar content will do more damage than good!
Annual Vet Visits
If you’re keeping up with your dog’s oral health you’ll only need to visit for a dental check-up once a year. During this check-up, the vet will examine your doggy’s face and mouth to check for signs of bleeding, swelling or redness.
If any of the above symptoms are identified or if your vet sees any signs they may need further checking it may send your doggy in for a mouth x-ray or to have their teeth properly cleaned.
Both of these procedures require your pet to be under anaesthetic but are perfectly safe – it just makes it easier if your doggy isn’t jumping around. Teeth cleaning may be recommended if there’s some extra tartar build up the vet doesn’t believe brushing alone will solve. Once this is done you have a clean slate, so keep on top of the brushing and stop it from happening again.
Pay Attention To Your Dog’s Oral Health
The most important thing you can do is to pay attention to the health of your doggy’s mouth. Look for any signs they’re in distress, for example, not eating food or taking much longer than usual to chew it.
Bad oral hygiene can lead to tooth loss for dogs, gum infections and even organ problems if left untreated.