How Do I Look After My Dog’s Teeth?
Dental problems are one of the most common health conditions that are diagnosed in adult dogs. Even though they aren’t prone to cavities like we are, it is still important to give their dental health as much as attention as we give ours.
If not, there are a number of problems that can develop that are more serious than just bad breath and discoloured teeth.
Dog Teeth Problems
Unhealthy teeth and gums can affect a lot more than just your dog’s mouth; it will make them go off their food, ultimately affecting their metabolism, and the bacteria from dental disease can actually enter their bloodstream and impact their vital organs.
Some of the more regularly diagnosed dental problems include:
- Toothache – Just like we can experience toothache, so can your pets, although it can be difficult to spot. If they are not eating like they usually do, this could be a sign that they are uncomfortable and in pain from toothache.
- Mouth Ulcers – If there is a build-up of plaque due to poor dental hygiene, this can rub against your dog’s gums consequently leading to ulcers.
- Gingivitis – Another problem leading from plaque build-up is gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums and can be indicated by mild redness. Although reversible, it can be an early indication of periodontal disease which is irreversible.
One of the more serious dental problems that can be caused by untreated conditions is:
- Periodontal Disease – If gingivitis is left untreated, the plaque build-up will start to combine with the minerals in your dog’s saliva, consequently hardening it and turning it into tartar. The increased inflammation caused by tartar will progress to the loss of the deep supporting structures of teeth.
Here are some signs to look out for if you are worried your dog has dental or gum disease:
- Bad breath can be a sign of a mouth infection
- Refusal of food or difficulty eating
- Damaged and / or bleeding gums
- Deposits built up on the teeth or discoloured teeth that fall out
- Exposed root of the tooth and signs of pain
Dog Teeth Cleaning
The best way to get your dog comfortable with you brushing and cleaning their teeth is by starting from an early age. However, you can still train an older dog, it may just take longer though.
Here are some steps to follow to help you brush your dog’s teeth:
- Choose a time when your dog is comfortable and relaxed and stick to this time every day.
- To get them used to your hand near their mouth, gently stroke their cheek in preparation.
- Give them a taste of the dog toothpaste so they get used to the flavour.
- Rub the dog toothpaste along their gum line with your finger until they are comfortable with you doing this – it may take a few days, so just persevere.
- Once they are comfortable, introduce the toothbrush by allowing them to lick the dog toothpaste off first. This is seen as a treat so make sure you carry on treating them throughout the cleaning process.
- Now it’s time to brush their teeth – start by gently brushing their front teeth in circular motions.
- If they are happy with this action, move onto the back teeth.
- Keep the teeth cleaning short and sweet, and only stop while your dog is still happy – you don’t want them wriggling.
Soon enough, you will be able to brush your dog’s teeth without any problems or fuss.
How To Remove Plaque From Dog’s Teeth
The best way to remove plaque from your dog’s teeth is to brush every single day and keep up the routine. This will keep your pet’s teeth healthy, but if it looks like a large build-up of plaque, it may be best to consult your vet first in case they need more severe treatment.
How To Clean Dog Teeth Without Brushing
You have probably seen the wide range of dental products that have been designed specifically for dogs, so they don’t have to purely rely on brushing. In order to maintain dental health, there are a number of chews and antlers than can be used by your dog that are both tasty and hygienic.
Avoid Bad Foods
A healthy diet leads to a healthy mouth and therefore healthy dental hygiene. Make sure you avoid giving your dog foods with high sugar content and food that is difficult to chew, as this can build up in their mouth.
Feeding your dog raw is healthy and dramatically reduces the risk of periodontal disease. By chewing on whole bones in a raw diet, their teeth are kept strong and clean, leading to shiny teeth and healthy mouths. Make sure you always choose Kiezebrink for your raw dog food needs!