Like humans, dogs may also have significant oral pathology, and their mouths and our own are a perfect incubator for various types of bacteria. Mouths are, by nature, warm and moist, in which organisms thrive. So, just like you care for your teeth or those of your children’s, you must care for your dog’s teeth. Remember your dog can’t care for his teeth without your help. Your goal is to prevent plaque and tartar from forming on his teeth because proper dog dental care can improve his health and even make him live longer.
How do You Know if Your Dog Has Dental Problems?
Foul breath is an indication that your dog has a dental problem. However, bad dog breath can be something entirely different as well; discuss the issue with a veterinarian. There are a variety of health issues that can arise directly from poor oral health, including kidney, liver, and heart disease. Do not take periodontal disease lightly, as the toxins become absorbed into the bloodstream, which could lead to fatal organ damage or at least permanent damage to those organs.
In addition to a dog falling ill, it may also experience extreme pain due to decayed teeth, infected gums, and so on. Therefore, it is essential to provide proper home hygiene care, which involves regular brushing and visits to the veterinarian. If there is existing periodontal disease, talk with your veterinarian, who can treat it. It’s always best to have a dental care routine started as early as possible, so the dog becomes habituated to it. However, it can somehow, be introduced gradually to an older dog as well. Keep in mind that it’s almost never too late to do so.
Should You Use Human Toothpaste for Your Dog? Dog Dental Care 101
No! For one thing, it does not taste good to a dog, and what’s even more important is that the formula in human toothpaste must be rinsed out. A dog does not have the capacity to do this, and will naturally swallow the toothpaste, which is also putting their health at risk. Moreover, pet toothpaste is made specifically for dogs. These are enzymatic, so they clean very well and are not dangerous to swallow.
The taste of toothpaste formulated for dogs is made with dogs in mind, so they have choices of different meat-flavored toothpaste. Once armed with a specially dog-formulated toothpaste, you’ll need a good soft-bristled toothbrush that’s ideal in size for your dog’s mouth. However, some dogs are just intolerable of an actual toothbrush, so choose an alternative cleaning tool, like a fingertip brush, or even a cloth. There are numerous oral cleaning tools available in local pet stores or online.
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Begin the routine slowly. For one thing, your dog is not accustomed to having his teeth brushed, so be gentle. Also, proceed slowly to avoid any adverse reaction from him. Allow him to smell and taste it beforehand. Don’t forget to praise him right after. Follow up with a dab of toothpaste on the brush and focus on the outside parts of the teeth and the tops of the molars. The interior side of the teeth is continuously cleansed with his saliva. Using the brush, start at the gum and move downward or upward, depending on which teeth you’re brushing. Don’t worry about doing the entire job the first time around. Your goal is to make brushing his teeth as pleasurable as possible. Try doing the front teeth on day one, and gradually move on until you can easily brush all his teeth.
In addition to brushing your dog’s teeth, invest in some chew toys and bones designed for keeping dog’s teeth clean. For example, there are Kong dental toys, and even treats to control tartar, like Dingo Dental Chews.
To summarize, feed your dog a diet that’s well-balanced and meat-based. Brush your dog’s teeth daily and provide quality chew toys and treats, and your dog not only have healthy teeth, but his overall well-being will improve as well. A healthy mouth with proper dog dental care can increase longevity!