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The ABC’s of Dog Dental Care

 by petbucket on 26 Feb 2016 |
1 Comment(s)
Everyone’s heard the phrase “dog breath,” but most owners don’t realize that bad breath can be a sign of more serious periodontal problems, such as plaque, gum disease and tooth loss. The idea of regular dental care is new to many pet owners, but keeping your canine’s chompers clean not only improves his quality of life, but also longevity. Think of it this way: You wouldn’t go years without cleaning your teeth, and neither should your dog.


Veterinarians report that dental problems are the most commonly diagnosed health issue in dogs over three years old. Ignoring buildup of tartar and plaque or an off-colored tooth can lead to serious health problems, including gum disease and life-threatening infections. To ensure your dog’s mouth remains in good health, check regularly for signs of oral disease. These can include bad breath, red or swollen gums, and a build-up of tartar around the teeth. Keep an eye out if your pup is chewing on one side of his mouth or not eating at all, as these are red flags that there’s something seriously wrong. Other signs of an oral infection include your dog compulsively chewing, pawing at his nose and mouth, or licking his nose. If you notice fractured or off-colored teeth or bumps on your dog’s gums, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.
 
With all of these scary symptoms, you’ll be happy to know you can help your dog live a better and longer life with a relatively simple mouth-cleaning routine. Ideally, you should clean your dog’s teeth daily, but giving his mouth some attention at least three times a week will help curb any problems. Use a soft toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, brushing in a gentle up-and-down motion. You can add canine toothpaste to the mix, but never use human toothpaste on your dog since he must be able to swallow any products. In addition, be sure to take your companion to the vet for an official dental exam at least once a year.
 
For owners who didn’t start dental care with their puppy or purchased an adult dog, tooth cleaning can be a daunting process. However, with some time and patience, your dog should come around to having his teeth cleaned. Start by brushing the outside of your pet’s cheek with your finger and lifting his lip, gradually moving inside your pet’s mouth and adding canine toothpaste to the mix. Be sure to lavish your dog with praises to reinforce that tooth brushing is a positive experience. If your dog proves especially difficult when it comes to oral hygiene, fear not: There are a number of chew toys designed just to fight tartar and clean the gums. Your dog’s diet also plays a big role in his oral hygiene, so bear in mind that dry kibbles and biscuits help remove plaque, while canned food contributes to dental problems.

Comment(s)1

Anna Picket - Comment
Anna Picket01 Mar 2016Reply
We never brushed our dog's teeth when I was little. I kind of feel bad about that after reading this article. Our current dog doesn't have to have that problem, though. Now he won't have "dog breath" problems.
Karen Davis - Comment
Karen Davis01 Mar 2016Reply
Same here, Anna. My parents never brushed our pets teeth and they never even went to the vet unless they were injured or dying. It is a different life for pets now that we have so much education about our pets now. Though to be honest, my pets died with all their teeth in their mouths and never had breath so bad that it bothered me.
Anna Picket - Comment
Anna Picket01 Mar 2016Reply
That is a very good point, thanks for your thoughts!

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