Dog Dental Care: Steps That Pet Owners Should Take
Dog dental care is quite often overlooked in dogs even though it is up there with one of the most important indicators of your dog’s overall health.
Toothache and sore gums can be an indicator that your pup is dealing with pain and stress that you may not even know about. If left untreated, this can affect other parts of the body and even cause periodontal, heart, liver or kidney diseases.
Healthy dog teeth should be clean and free of plaque and dirt. All 42 teeth should be intact and not jagged or broken. Their tongue should be moist without any signs of lumps or cuts and in most cases, their gums should be salmon pink, (although some breeds naturally have black or hints of black in them).
Make sure you know what your dog’s mouth usually looks like and consult your vet if you notice any unusual lumped, raised spots, pale gums or red tissue.
Dog oral care should be introduced when they are still a puppy. It is a slow process – so be patient! Starting this process early will teach your dog that it is something to expect daily (or at least a few times a week).
What tools do you need when it comes to dog teeth care?
The best brush to use is a double-headed brush with a 45-degree angle so to clean below the gum line.
Do NOT use human toothpaste – the ingredients can irritate their stomach and cause them to become very sick! Toothpaste formulated for dogs is easy to get hold of in most stores. They have a range of flavours that are appealing to your dog – although not quite the minty fresh we humans would prefer!
How do you brush your dog’s teeth?
Take baby steps. You want your dog to be comfortable with you touching their mouth and teeth first. Don’t rush them.
Start by using your finger to get your dog used to the sensation. Quit trying if they become agitated and attempt again later. Once your dog becomes comfortable with this action, introduce a doggy toothbrush.
Begin at the front of their mouth and slowly increase the areas in which you brush each time. Keep a calm and soothing tone throughout the process to keep them at ease.
Before you know it, your dog will look forward to this event in their day! Reward them with a treat afterwards so they view it as a pleasurable time.
Petz Park Top Tip: Try the process after your dog has exercised. They may be more inclined to sit still for a longer period of time.
Other factors that will help you to maintain your dog dental health include specially designed chews toys and synthetic bones. They are created to help strengthen your dog’s teeth and gums. Be careful to choose a safe option for them to chew on – hard objects can cause broken teeth!
Although giving a dog a bone will help to keep plaque build-up to a minimum, it is important that you do not rely solely on this. Maintaining good dental hygiene should be a priority.
When should you see a vet?
Your dog should have their teeth checked by a professional every 6-12 months, just like you. It can be a hassle for sure but can be a money saver or even a lifesaver in the long run.
You should visit your vet out of these regular check-ups if you notice any of the following signs:
- Bad breath
- Change in eating or dog chewing habits
- Pawing at the face or mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Misaligned or missing teeth
- Discoloured, broken, missing or crooked teeth
- Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
- Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
- Bumps or growths within the mouth
We cannot stress enough how important it is to keep on top of your dog’s oral care. Follow our steps and you’ll both stay smiling!
If you have any additional questions please head over to our FAQ page or simply get in contact with us on Facebook (Petz Park) where we can answer your queries almost instantly.
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