Dental Care for Dogs
We all know it's important to keep your dog happy and healthy. Daily walks, regular grooming, flea treatments and vaccinations and a good diet all play a role in this. But what about teeth? It's also important that you have a good oral hygiene routine with your dog as teeth are commonly overlooked.
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Why is it so important?
Bacteria that grow on uncared for teeth can enter the blood stream and pose a serious threat to your dogs heart, liver or kidneys but with regular brushing and check ups this painful periodontal disease can be prevented.
Your dog is unable to tell your his teeth and gums are sore so what should you look out for?
Common signs and reluctance to eat, bad breath, pawing at the muzzle, red and swollen gums, brownish tartar or plaque along the gum line and discoloured or broken teeth. If your dog has any of these symptoms then a veterinary check up is always recommended.
So how do I brush my dogs teeth?
It is important to start out slowly by first getting your dog used to you touching his muzzle, progressing to teeth and gums. When he is happy with that use your finger to rub a tasty morsel along his teeth and gums. Then progress to a tooth brush. You can use either a regular doggy toothbrush or a finger brush and a special doggy toothpaste with a meaty flavour is always appreciated. You must only use a special toothpaste for dogs as fluoride which is found in human toothpaste is poisonous to dogs. Start out gently and only do as much as your dog feels comfortable with. 3/4 times a week is sufficient.
What else can I do?
Chewing on a special products such as nylon and rubber bones can help dogs scrape the plaque off their own teeth. Knuckle bones are also a good natural product.
Feeding your dog dry food instead of wet can also be beneficial as the biscuits also help keep teeth clean.
Take your dog for regular check ups and act quickly if you notice any dental issues.
However, NONE of these things should replace regular brushing
Proper maintenance not only leads to a healthy mouth but can also save you money on expensive vet bills if the buildup of plaque gets bad enough to require an anaesthetic and a dental procedure to remove it.