Don’t Pass on Getting Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned!
Dogs need dental care, too! Unfortunately, dental hygiene for dogs is sometimes overlooked. Many people seem to just expect dogs to have bad breath, and few people brush their dogs’ teeth frequently enough. Much like fitness and grooming, dental hygiene is an important part of your dog’s overall health. Help keep your dog healthy and don’t forget his teeth!
Keeping an eye on their teeth will help avoid severe dental disease. The best way to keep track of your dog’s teeth is to look at them on a regular basis and be able to detect warning signs early. To inspect your dog’s teeth, lift the lips all around the mouth, looking at the front and back teeth as closely as possible. Be gentle and use common sense as they most likely will not like this examine. Your veterinarian will also take a look at your dog’s teeth during routine examinations, so make sure you keep up with these – visit your vet every 6-12 months for wellness check-ups. Contact your vet if any problems arise. These are some of the things to look out for:
- Reluctance to chew
- Increased salivation
- Puffy and red gums
- Bleeding gums
- Tartar / Calculus
- Loose or missing teeth
- Anything else about the mouth that appears unusual
- Bad breath
- Crying or unusual noises when chewing
Plaque builds up on the teeth and turns into tartar just like our teeth. This is one of those things that the longer it goes, the worse it gets. Halitosis, periodontal disease, oral pain and tooth loss can occur. This can sadly be just the start of other health related issues– they can also affect other parts of the body, like the heart and kidneys. The most important thing to do is address dental disease as soon as it is detected, no matter how minor. Being proactive when your dog is young can help prevent many of these problems.
Starting a dental care routine as early as possible in your dog’s life will get him used to the feeling of having his teeth brushed and inspected. Puppies have 28 deciduous teeth that typically fall out by about six months of age. Hopefully by this time you are already having his teeth examined on a regular basis. Here are some things to remember if you are going to be doing this:
- Never use human toothpaste. Too many of us think that this must be safe and try this without realizing that it makes them sick.
- It only takes one to two days for plaque to turn into tarter.
- Ask your veterinarian for advice along with any other questions.
If for some reason you may not be able to brush your dogs teeth there are other options.
Research for certain oral rinses or dog treats that will help with cleaning. Hopefully between constant observation and monitoring their teeth you can avoid any problems. Also remember to make an appointment for anything that does not appear normal. By starting them at a younger age it will help out in their ability to be more comfortable and become part of their everyday grooming.