7 Signs That Your Dog Needs Dental Care
If you’ve had the misfortune to suffer from toothache, you’ll know how exhausting it can be; from low energy levels and loss of appetite to fatigue from dealing with the pain. When your dog experiences dental health problems, they feel pretty much the same.
Periodontal disease, tooth decay and problems with gums can lead to significant chronic pain, affecting overall health and quality of life. Fortunately, your dog can avoid many dental health issues if they are addressed on time.
But how to tell if your pup needs dental care? Read on to discover the most common signs.
Contrary to what others think, it’s not normal for your pet to have bad breath. Unfortunately, this is a typical condition for many dogs and it usually happens if your pup doesn’t get regular brushing and dental cleaning.
Bad breath might even indicate a more serious condition. For example, if it smells like rotten eggs, your dog struggles with periodontal disease. Even a slightly bad breath means your pup has bacteria in their mouth.
Struggling with eating
Dogs with dental issues have difficulties chewing food or suddenly lose interest and appetite. Make sure your pet doesn’t have inflammation or dental infection that could cause gingivitis or gum disease. If they start refusing hard food, it could be a sign that they find it challenging to chew.
Problem with gums
Bleeding, swollen or inflamed gums are usually a symptom of bacterial infection. This inflammation leads to discomfort and pain and often requires professional assistance. The vet will either clean the affected spot or remove the problem tooth.
If your dog has brown stains around the gum line and back teeth, it means they have a tartar buildup. Bad breath and tartar buildup go hand in hand and are usually followed by bacterial infection. When this condition is not addressed properly, it can lead to dental issues and you will have to take your dog to professional teeth cleaning.
You could prevent this condition by brushing your dog’s teeth every other day. This is a great way to maintain their oral health.
Broken or loose teeth
Many pet parents believe it’s normal for their dogs to lose teeth as they age. But broken or loose teeth signify a more serious dental issue. In most cases, bacteria have affected the binding that holds the tooth in place.
At that point, the infection already exists or it’s in the process of developing. If your dog chews something hard, it may cause its teeth to become loose, allowing enough space for bacteria to enter.
Keep in mind that bacterial infection can spread easily, affecting not only teeth but the rest of your pet’s body.
Tumours on gums
Growths or tumours on your dog’s gums can either be malignant or benign and the only way to know for sure is to have your pet examined by a vet. If they find the tumour to be malignant, the treatment for this type of condition includes removing some of their teeth or section of the jaw bone.
On the other hand, if you brush their teeth regularly, you are more likely to notice a tumour in the early stages and prevent a fatal outcome. This is an important reason to practise dental care on your pup.
Drooling and pawing
If you notice excessive pawing or drooling, that could be a sign of a dental abscess, causing your pet to experience discomfort and dental pain. Usually, a condition known as a carnassial tooth can provoke dental abscesses.
Your vet might have to remove the affected tooth and drain the abscess. Further treatment involves antibiotics so your pet doesn’t develop an infection.
Using dog toothpaste – benefits
Prevents swollen gums
Swollen gums and bad breath usually come hand in hand. If you don’t clean your dog’s teeth and gums from plaque and tartar, bacteria will form. But if you brush their teeth every other day, you reduce this risk.
Most canines tend to have bad breath, although they don’t have control over this matter. Not only will toothpaste get rid of bad bacteria, but it will also whiten your pet’s teeth and ensure their breath smells nice.
Improved overall well-being
If you use dog toothpaste regularly, you are also improving your pet’s overall health. As mentioned, bad bacteria can affect canine’s health, causing gum inflammation, loose teeth and other ghastly gum diseases.
Using a dog toothbrush – benefits
Prevents the buildup of plaque and tartar
One of the biggest benefits of using a dog toothbrush is cleaning plaque and tartar on your pet’s teeth thoroughly. While daily brushing is recommended, not all canines enjoy this activity. However, you need to do it as regularly as possible to prevent a buildup that causes many dental diseases. Try doing it at least twice a week.
Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on a dog’s teeth after eating. When it accumulates, plaque starts mixing with bacteria and saliva, turning into tartar after some time. If you fail to address this condition, tartar can spread under gum lines, leading to periodontal disease and gingivitis.
It needs around 36 hours for plaque to harden and turn into tartar. But the good news is that brushing your pup’s teeth prevents tartar from forming on their pearly whites.
Help your dog avoid dental diseases
Dental disease isn’t the first thing you think of when it comes to keeping your pet healthy but it’s equally important. Regardless of how small it may appear, ignoring oral conditions can lead to serious health consequences.
Even though minor gum inflammation or symptoms of periodontal disease might seem harmless, they still cause discomfort. When left untreated can end up causing bone and tissue destruction.
That’s why getting your canine accustomed to a toothbrush and regular brushing is important. This is the easiest way to prevent the risk of your pup developing a serious dental condition.
Saves you money
It’s always a good idea to invest money in a high-quality dog toothbrush. Eventually it will pay off. Just imagine how much money you will save every time you have to visit the vet. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly detects and prevents oral issues before they become serious and cost a lot of money.
On top of everything, professional teeth cleaning isn’t cheap. With the right tools at your hand, your dog’s teeth will be squeaky clean.
Dog toothpaste and brush for home use
Brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the best ways to maintain oral hygiene. If you have never done this before, you might be surprised how easy it can be. Different types of toothbrushes are available in pet supply stores and when combined with a dog-specific toothpaste, toothbrushing becomes a fun and easy process.
Make sure to buy a toothbrush that works best for your pet. You can test several models before you find the right one. Establish a regular brushing routine while your dog is a puppy, so this becomes a regular part of their lives. For canines that don’t tolerate brushing, you can find a wide range of chews, treats and powders that can clean their teeth.
Is kelp powder for dogs any good?
Kelp is a type of seaweed growing in the Pacific Northwest, New England in the US and other countries like Korea, Japan, China and Iceland. It’s loaded with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins and is particularly high in calcium and iodine.
Thirty years ago, a small number of animal nutritionists started giving kelp to dogs and noticed amazing results in dental hygiene, but this was rarely used at the time. Until recently, no one used kelp powder. Some commercial products started popping out, spiking the interest of dog owners.
This led us to consider whether kelp powder is safe for dogs and what benefits it can offer. Kelp, in general, is an excellent addition to your pet’s diet due to its high amino acid and protein content. When used regularly, it can minimise the amount of calculus and tartar that forms on teeth.
How do dog dental sticks work?
A dental stick can be a great treat for your dog. They work by removing plaque and tartar and getting rid of the bad breath. But you need to choose the right stick size for your dog. We recommend using a small stick for dogs between 0-10kg, medium for 10-25 kg and large sticks for 25+kg canines.
Dogs scrape off plaque and tartar from their teeth by chewing dental sticks. In fact, dental sticks can reduce plaque by 70%.
Practising regular dental care can prevent many oral diseases in your pup. If your canine develops signs of dental disease, the sooner they receive treatment, the more likely they will heal completely. We hope some of the tips we mentioned above will help your dog maintain healthy teeth and great oral health.