Dog parents are extremely conscious of their Pooch’s health so, they put a lot of time and effort in choosing the best food for him, make him exercise regularly to maintain his good shape, takes care of his skin and body and ensures that he is getting enough love and attention. However, something that is often forgotten and ignored by them is his Dental Health!
‘A plaque-free dog is a healthy dog’
Maintaining dental hygiene of a dog is very important as it is directly related to his overall health. Although dogs are relatively less prone to dental problems and cavities as compared to humans, they can still develop many oral problems.
According to many veterinarians, plaque build-up is a common problem in dogs and so is gingivitis. These dental problems can’t be ignored as ignorance may result in a hazardous situation.
If the problem is not recognized in time, bacteria and infection developed in the teeth can enter the blood, penetrate the kidneys, heart and liver system that can gravely damage these organs.
So, it is very important to maintain good dental hygiene in dogs as ‘A plaque-free dog is a healthy dog’.
How to detect dental problems in dogs?
Dental disease is usually silent. When it starts there are no outward signs and symptoms. Yet once it advances, it can devastate your dog’s mouth, causing chronic pain, eroded gums, missing teeth, and bone loss. So, every dog parent should check regularly, if their dog is showing with any for these signs:
- Foul Breath
- Lack of interest in eating or chewing
- Irritated gums, swelling, redness, bleeding
- Brownish tartar deposit on the teeth
- Blisters or bumps
- Irritated pawing or scratching at mouth area
- Lack of energy
- Increased drooling, ropey saliva
- Crooked, yellowish, broken or missing teeth
- Chewing on one side of their mouth
- Difficulty in picking up food
While the above-mentioned symptoms may require professional attention, but maintaining a dog’s dental health at an early stage can save him from such sufferings.
How to maintain Oral Hygiene in dogs?
Brushing should be on top of your dog’s to-do list and should be as normal as playing or eating. It can be hard to build up a brushing habit as it is not something that comes naturally to him and he won’t like it at the beginning, so this is the time when you need to be patient with the process.
You will need to introduce the idea slowly and gradually to him. Start by massaging his teeth with your fingers and when he gets used to it, introduce a doggy brush. Start with a few seconds and slowly increase the duration. Do all of this in a calm, happy environment. If he shows discomfort, stop immediately. But after a few weeks, he should be used to it.
Though vets suggest brushing a dog’s teeth daily but, practicing it every alternate day is good enough as well. Just go slow and be patient.
Choose right Dog Food
There are some scientific researches that say some dog foods can help in keeping your pet’s teeth clean. Most recommended of them is the kibble sized food that produces a mechanical brushing effect on teeth, help in remove plaque and tartar when chewed.
Choose apt treats and chews
Picking right treats and chews can also improve dental health as it helps in encouraging chewing in dogs that rubs plaque and tartar off the teeth, and also spread protective saliva around that.
Visit your vet regularly for teeth cleaning
In the majority of dog’s lives, there comes a time when their teeth may require veterinary treatment over and above their regular examinations. A dental treatment involves a general anesthetic and a full dental examination, including charting and scaling, both ultrasonically and by hand, and then finishing with polish. A very similar procedure used by your own dentist.
So, it is suggested to visit your vet regularly for check-ups and teeth cleaning.
Choose right chew toys
Some dog toys are made for a specific purpose of strengthening your dog’s teeth and gums. The more he chews these toys the more his teeth gets strong, it also helps in getting rid of plaque and tartar build-up. But be careful while choosing these toys as the material and size should be appropriate for your dog. Also, make sure that it does not have any hard or sharp edge that can break his teeth or give deep cuts.
As you now know how to maintain good dental health of a dog, we will suggest you to start it as early as possible as ‘The sooner…the better’.