We have dentists to take care of own oral care, however, dogs do not. Teeth and gums, however, are vital organs to dogs. As an owner, you should assess to them often because they themselves cannot tell you when their teeth hurt or not. There are vets as well, but you can take steps ahead to prevent dental diseases for your loved furry balls.
Vets agree that over 80 percent of dogs have some dental disease when they reach 3 years in life. Your dog may belong in the lucky 20 percent and have white sparkly teeth for the rest of his life, but in case he does not, here are something you should know.
Many dogs develop tartar (a.k.a calculus) in their mouth. They look ugly, and they actually are unhealthy. Tartar buildup on and under the gum line, allows bacteria to go in and grow. Once these bacteria infect your dog, she may have bad breath with swollen and inflamed gums. The gums will be in unusually bright red or purple, and bleed sometimes. These are the signs of gingivitis. Untreated, the infection will destroy your loved ones’ ligament and bony structures which support the teeth.
Because gums have ample blood supply, the infections in the mouth can also travel through her body by blood lines, potentially causing illness in the heart, kidneys or livers. These things will be less likely to happen if you check your dog’s teeth and gum frequently and remove tartar if they present. Pay for a vet to do it, or do it yourself. You can also give him chewing sticks that are made specially to remove tartar.
If brush a dog’s teeth is too dainty for you, there is one method that may lessen the tartar buildup in her mouth, which is using raw meaty bones instead of dry dog food. Their mildly abrasive texture can help remove dental plaque. These bones are made from poultry. Do not use cooked bones, these will not help with the plaque, moreover, they carry bacteria in themselves.
Do not trust your dog entirely with marketing claims, either. Some products or dog’s food may claim to remove tartar effectively, but if he has bad breath, stained teeth or unusual colored gums, check with the vet instantly. The universally acclaimed method to decrease plaque and tartar, the only method that you should trust in, is daily brushing accompanied with a routine tartar removal by a professional.
As a matter of fact, if you have ever try to brush your canine teeth, you will know that it may be the most challenging task a dog owner should do. For better reaction from the unwilling one, try using a baby-soft toothbrush. There is also food-flavored toothpaste for dogs available. It is bothersome, but in the long term, it is probably the best thing you can do for your dog’s teeth and gum health.
Below are some tooth brushing tips:
- Be patient, and start slowly. Use a circular motion in one tooth at a time, and give him rewards, praise and treats occasionally to persuade him to behave.
- After some time, when your dog is magically patient and let you do the task, try switching to electric toothbrushes.
- Dip the brush in water as you brush to rinse the plaque away, as well as facilitate the application of antibacterial enzymes in the toothpaste.
Featured image credit : Roberto Fontana