Dog Dental Care: A Better Smile for Dogs

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Unlike humans, dogs are not prone to cavities. However, this does not mean they can’t get dental problems. Dogs can also acquire gingivitis, plaque and tartar. Aside from the food they eat and monitoring their dental hygiene, it would be best to keep their dog kennel clean to ensure that further diseases do not penetrate pets.

Dog dental problems should be taken seriously because they can be life threatening. It can affect the vital organs of our pets including their heart, kidney and liver. Here are some great ways to practice dog dental care.

Giving dogs perfect doggy smiles

Dogs can’t brush their teeth alone. That is why owners should administer dog dental care. A canine toothbrush is needed and a little technique to make it easier. Use a double headed toothbrush that can bend up to 45 degrees to be able to reach up to the dog’s gum line. Take note that dogs get irritated when owners attempt to open their mouths as they are not used to brushing.

Pet owners should find the perfect time for dogs to get brushed. A good time will be after the dog had his exercise because he will be more inclined to sit and open his mouth. Begin the dental care by brushing slowly and stop after noticing the dog has become agitated.

After making sure his mouth gets cleaned, owners should give their dogs a treat. This will guarantee that they would look forward to the next brushing activity. Although it might get a little difficult at first, this will be a pleasant experience in the long run. And one more thing, if you’ll be giving your pet some treats, be sure to clean its dog kennel afterwards or else flies and ants will scurry over the leftover treats. Remember, dogs are not so tidy when they eat.

Picking the right doggy toothpaste

The right toothpaste is essential when administering dog dental care. Remember that dogs are not used to brushing and their taste buds also differ. Human toothpaste must not be used when brushing a dog’s teeth because of its fluoride content. Fluoride is known to be very dangerous to dogs and can cause life threatening issues. Check out the local pet stores for available doggy toothpaste that would most suit the dogs at home.

Dog dental care can be tiresome to administer in a dog kennel because the area may be too cramped. It is best to brush their teeth in a bathroom where you could also easily gain access with clean water to wash off the frothy paste.

Owners should also lengthen their patience especially when their dogs start to get agitated. However, when it is properly and regularly done at home, it can save owners more time and money in the long run since dental problems can become serious concerns. Therefore, to have your dog get used to dental care, start while they are still puppies. That way, they will become comfortable every time owners clean their mouths and teeth.

Other dental care options for dogs

Aside from brushing, there are also other ways to administer dog dental care. This is usually done when dogs end in tears, sweat or even blood when their teeth are brushed.

Giving dogs dry food is better than letting them eat soft food. A crunchy treat can help strengthen their teeth. This is because soft food tends to get stuck in their teeth that can cause cavities and decay.

There are also many chew toys that can help clean their teeth. These toys are synthetically made and shaped like bones to help make their gums healthy. However, be careful on the chew toys given to dogs as hard objects can destroy their teeth. Puppies should not be given real bones to chew on.

Visiting the Vet

Whether a dog gets regular brushing or not, it is still best to have a vet check his oral hygiene. A dog must be taken to a vet upon seeing the following signs caused by dental issues:

– Depression

– Bad breath

– Change in eating habits

– Missing tooth

– Noticeable bumps around or inside the mouth

– Excessive drooling

– Crooked or discoloured teeth

– Frequent touching on its mouth or face

– Bleeding gums

– Red, swollen gums

– Tartar found along the gum line

If the dog’s dental problem becomes worse, vets usually perform dental procedures to address the issue. Here are common dental actions for dogs:

Pre-anaesthetic exam. This is done by assessing the kind of anaesthesia to be given. This will ensure that the dog is healthy to be able to tolerate the anaesthesia as well as x-rays, urinalysis and blood testing.

Anaesthesia monitoring. This is done to keep track of the dog’s heart rate, temperature and respiration. It is also vital to keep the dog safe after giving the anaesthesia.

Dental x-ray. A vet will be able to further assess the dog’s dental condition by having a look at his dental x-ray result.

Polishing and scaling. This procedure is similar to when a human visits a dental clinic. A vet will remove plaque, smooth the rough areas of the dog’s teeth and apply barrier substance that can prevent the reoccurrence of plaque in the future.

Even if the dog has healthy teeth, it is still best to have regular checkups with a veterinarian. Like humans, dogs need to visit the vet every 6 to 12 months. A dental examination should be included with a dog’s regular check-up to ensure strong gums and teeth. Owners can always ask the vet to include dental check-up in case it is not included.

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