Despite the old wives tale that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans, dogs can still develop problems like tartar and plaque build-up and gingivitis. As with humans, these canine dental problems can actually lead to life-threatening infections and issues including heart, liver, and kidney disease.
Here’s how to practice good dog dental care that benefit your dog’s life:
How to brush your dog’s teeth
To make the experience a little more bearable, choose a time when your dog has had a decent amount of exercise, so he’s more inclined to sit still for the procedure. Start slowly and stop if your dog gets agitated, even if you don’t brush the whole mouth. You can increase the time every day as he gets used to it. Also, make sure to reward your dog with a treat afterwards. Before too long, he will start to associate the teeth brushing with a delicious treat and the experience will be all the more pleasurable for it.
Start early with your dog as a puppy
Grown dogs can learn to become comfortable with dog teeth cleaning, but make things easier for yourself by working with your dog as a puppy.
How to pick the right tooth paste for your dog
This is very important. Do NOT use regular human toothpaste for your dog. Most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs. You can find toothpaste formulated for dog’s at most pet shops and online.
Dry food is better than soft food
Dried food is better for your dog’s teeth than soft food, as soft food is more likely to stick to the teeth and cause decay.
Chew bones and chew toys to clean teeth
There are many synthetic bones and chew toys that are specially designed to strengthen your dog’s gums and teeth. Just make sure you’re providing safe objects for your dog to chew on. Hard objects like an excessive amount of can cause broken teeth and gum damage.
When to see a Vet
If you notice any of these signs of dental problems, then take your dog to the vet:
- Bad breath
- Change in eating or dog chewing habits
- Pawing at the face or mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Misaligned or missing teeth
- Discoloured, broken, missing or crooked teeth
- Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
- Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
How often to see a vet?
Even with healthy teeth, just like you, your dog should have his teeth checked by a professional every six to twelve months. Your vet should include a dental examination with a normal check-up, but ask for it if they don’t. Maintaining your dog’s dental care will avoid problems and save money in the long run. Many dogs have to be given anaesthesia to have their teeth and gums cleaned if the build-up is bad enough, so get them used to teeth cleaning as soon as possible.