WHY DOG DENTAL CARE IS ESSENTIAL
Dog dental care isn’t only about making sure they have sweet smelling breath for when they sneak in a huge slobbery kiss right down your cheek! It’s also about ensuring your beloved pet lives a healthy and happy life.
Dental disease in dogs is common, and can cause significant pain to your pet, as it advances, they could experience tooth and gum infections, inflammation and even tooth loss. On top of this, bacteria from dental disease can even get into the blood and travel to important organs such as the heart, liver and kidney. This can all lead to discomfort and in severe cases, it can shorten your pets life span!
So good dental care is essential to keep your dog healthy and should be made a priority by all good pet parents.
Dogs develop tartar and plaque on their teeth just like we do, without regular dental care these bacteria can spread to the gums and cause inflammation. As the bacteria continues to spread it works its way deeper around the teeth causing periodontal disease which eventually results in tooth loss.
The best way to prevent dental disease is as quick and easy as brushing your pet’s teeth and using special dental treats. It’s also important to keep regular appointments with you vet who will keep an eye on your dog’s dental health.
Brushing your dog’s teeth:
If you haven’t been regularly brushing your dog’s teeth since they were a puppy, it’s unsurprising that they may be a bit unsure about you introducing the process now but it’s a vital part of keeping them healthy. Introduce brushing gradually, don’t over-restrain your dog and keep your brushing session short and positive.
Start by getting them used to you rubbing their teeth and gums with your finger. It may help to dip your finger in a tasty treat like peanut butter the first few times, just to get them used to it. Remember to keep the session short and positive, praising them often.
Gradually introduce gauze (or even a cloth glove) over the finger and start to gently scrub the teeth in a circular motion.
Once your dog is comfortable with this, you can then introduce a soft toothbrush and some toothpaste specifically designed for pets. Most vets and pet stores will sell these.
Chews and toys
As well as brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, you can also introduce Dental Chews and Toys which can help reduce the formation of plaque and tartar. You cannot solely rely on these to keep your dogs dental care in check however, so they should be used alongside a consistent at home cleaning routine as well as regular visits to the vet.
It’s important to get your dog’s teeth regularly cleaned by a vet on top of your home dental routine. This is done under general anaesthesia in order to ensure your pets teeth are cleaned below the gum line, it’s a common procedure but will help ensure your pet does not develop periodontal disease.
A full dental examination and cleaning of your dog’s teeth cannot be carried out unless you pet is put under general anaesthesia. It’s not possible to adequately assess the condition of their teeth and perform a full examination and dental x-rays without this. Dentistry should only ever be performed under anaesthesia to prevent your pet from experiencing fear, stress and pain during the process.
By keeping on top of your dog’s dental care you can ensure they live a happy, healthy and fresh breathed long life!