Everything You Need To Know About Dog Dental Care
You brush your teeth every day, right? But did you know you should brush your dog’s teeth as well? In fact, their oral hygiene is equally important and it’s something many loving dog owners tend to overlook.
Taking care of your dog’s teeth is a great way to prevent many dental diseases. You probably don’t know how vulnerable your pet can be to gingivitis and other oral conditions. But knowing how to spot any changes and prevent them on time makes your work much easier.
In this guide, we will share all things related to dog dental care!
How to know if your pet has a healthy mouth?
Knowing what a healthy mouth looks like is essential if you are serious about your canine’s dental hygiene. That means when something goes wrong, you can act on time. Same as humans, dogs’ pearly whites demand proper care to remain healthy throughout their lives.
Dogs have 42 teeth in total and each of them needs to be free of tartar and plaque. Teeth shouldn’t be broken or jagged in any way.
You shouldn’t just inspect their teeth but look at their entire mouth. The tongue needs to be moist, without any cuts or lumps. Gums should have a salmon pink colour but this feature depends on the breed because some breeds have black and pink gums.
If your pet always had black gums, that’s not something to worry about.
Dog teeth cleaning tips
You can employ several techniques to keep your pet’s mouth clean. Let’s start with the most obvious one.
This is the most basic thing you can do for your pooch. There are specific toothbrushes and toothpaste on the market which will help you reduce bacteria in your canine’s mouth. It’s best if you could brush their teeth daily.
If this is your first time trying, take baby steps. Many pups don’t like to be touched so brushing their teeth can be challenging. Give your dog some time to get used to your touch and brushing technique. Once you have them in a comfortable position, introduce a toothbrush.
Let them smell it first so they know it’s not something to be scared of and then begin putting a toothbrush into your pet’s mouth and brushing. Use only products designed for dogs because human toothpaste will make your pup sick.
Clear everything with your vet
Humans visit the dentist every six months for routine cleaning. Your pet should have the same treatment only at the vet’s office. Cleaning their teeth once a year is enough.
Unfortunately, routine cleaning requires your pup to be put under anaesthesia. However, this enables the vet to clean their mouth thoroughly, including under the gums. Some vets will suggest an x-ray to ensure everything is in perfect order.
Cleaning treats and toys
Besides having your dog’s teeth brushed by you or a professional, you can always get toys and treats specifically designed for this purpose. They will remove plaque and tartar from their mouth.
This is an excellent way to keep your pet’s teeth clean without realising they are brushing their pearly whites. You can find plenty of toys available on the market. Remember that scraping motion doesn’t damage the teeth but helps lift buildup around teeth.
Make sure your pup eats a healthy diet
A healthy diet is crucial for their overall health and oral hygiene. It will ensure your pooch receives the necessary nutrients and help their teeth function as they should. If your pet suffers from a particular health condition, certain food on the market is tailored to treat such issues.
For instance, we have dry kibble which helps dogs get rid of plaque and tartar. Discuss with your vet if you believe that some type of food will address their oral problem.
The last step would be to regularly inspect your dog’s mouth and pay attention to their dental health. Did you know that numerous oral diseases can go unnoticed for years? If you are invested in your pup’s oral health, you can hopefully detect some changes sooner than later.
Should you buy dog toothpaste?
No dog should use human toothpaste! They aren’t trained to spit it out so anything that goes into their mouth gets swallowed. Human toothpaste contains a lot of chemicals that aren’t meant to be swallowed like hydrogen peroxide or baking soda.
Some additives such as xylitol, abrasives or high-foaming detergents can be toxic to your pooch and can upset their stomach. While xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in the human food industry, it can be fatal to dogs and cause liver damage or blood sugar drops.
How to choose the best dog toothbrush and paste?
Let’s start with the toothbrush first. You should get one that fits your pet’s size. Usually you can choose a toothbrush for small, medium and large canines. We suggest getting a double-headed toothbrush because it makes teeth cleaning much easier.
Basically, you are cleaning the front and backside of their pearly white at the same time to get the best results. Make sure to get a toothbrush with a long handle to reach all remote angles more effectively.
When it comes to toothpaste, it’s designed to keep your pet’s teeth clean. When buying this type of product, make sure to get an item that contains MCT oil, green tea extract, lemon myrtle and coconut oil. These all-natural ingredients have a beneficial effect on your canine’s teeth so dog toothpaste should always be your go-to choice.
Dog toothpaste is available in various flavours, making them appetising for your pooch.
What are common dog oral diseases?
Here is a preview of the most prevalent dental issues in dogs nowadays.
Halitosis or bad breath is a common issue dogs face and it’s usually the first sign that something is wrong. The bad smell results from bacteria stuck in their mouth which can lead to infection, creating this vile odour.
Bad breath is usually treated with regular brushing. However if your pup gets an infection, contact the vet immediately.
Same as humans, dogs can suffer from gingivitis as well. A lot of plaque leads to inflamed gums; but you can fix gingivitis with regular cleaning. If gums start bleeding or change colour then visit the vet.
Tumours and cysts
Canines can also have lumps in their mouth and most of them are no reason for concern, but some may be. Those dangerous lumps can be tumours and cysts, so it’s crucial to have them removed as soon as you notice.
This is a serious condition causing infection between teeth and gums. Some of the first symptoms that appear are difficulty in eating, loss of teeth, pain, swelling and in some cases, nasal discharge. If your pup shows signs of periodontal diseases or swollen gums, take them to the vet.
First signs of oral disease
Bad breath is one of the first signs that something is wrong. Several reasons can cause bad breath, one of them being food your pup eats or it can be a sign of infection. If the smell doesn’t go away after a couple of days, you are probably dealing with a serious issue.
Colour of gums and teeth
The colour of gums and teeth can signify that your pooch is experiencing a dental disease. If their pearly whites are brown or yellow, it could be a reason for concern. If you notice bloody or super red gums, it means your pup has some sort of an oral issue.
Can you prevent dental disease in dogs?
Of course, as many vets tend to say, this is one of the most preventable conditions in canines. Taking your dog to regular checkups, cleaning their teeth at least three times a week and using a puppy toothbrush and toothpaste are only some of the ways to prevent oral conditions.
Ideally, you should brush their teeth at home every day. By doing this, you are removing buildup plaque and tartar. It’s important to get your pet accustomed to teeth brushing from an early age; therefore, you won’t have to worry about their teeth when they grow up.
There are a couple of techniques you can employ to train your pup to accept teeth brushing. Once they do, it will be their favourite activity.
Taking care of your canine’s oral health is crucial for their healthy and happy life. Regular teeth brushing is a great place to start but that’s not the only thing you should do. Taking your pooch to get their teeth professionally cleaned once a year is equally important, as well as feeding them the right food, snacks and treats.
If you are responsible enough, your pup will have healthy and strong teeth!