Doggie Dental Health: In terms of keeping dogs healthy, most new pet owners overlook the importance of dental health. For this reason, some dogs suffer from dental health problems like gingivitis. To avoid them, make sure to include your dog’s oral hygiene when taking care of them.
Once you take care of your dog’s teeth and provide them a healthy diet, it can lessen their risk of oral diseases later on. If you don’t know where to get started when it comes to your dog’s dental health, below are some of the tips you can consider as a newbie dog owner:
Doggie Dental Health Tips For Newbie Owners
1. Opt For Professional Cleanings
One of the best ways to maintain your dog’s dental health is to opt for a professional cleaning from a reliable veterinary clinic near you. If you haven’t tried professional cleaning for your dog before, you can learn more from searching the services of vet clinics.
The good thing about professional cleaning is the vet knows what’s ideal for your dog’s current dental health and can address any problems immediately. Even if it can be expensive, you can be sure that it’s worth it for your dog’s dental hygiene.
Plus, your vet is highly experienced in treating, locating, and preventing dental issues you might not notice. So, if you want to ensure your dog doesn’t have any dental problems, consider a professional examination from a clinic.
2. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth To Avoid Plaque Buildup
Daily brushing is one of the ways to improve your dog’s health. It provides your dog a great chance to have healthy gums and teeth. Introduce regular teeth cleaning to them when your dog is still a puppy. If your dog is already old, you may need more patience until your pet gets used to it.
When brushing your dog’s teeth, make sure to use a suitable toothbrush. If you can’t find one, try using a soft-bristled toothbrush or opt for a finger toothbrush. In terms of toothpaste, don’t use the ones made for people. Salt and baking soda must also not be used for brushing your dog’s teeth because they can be dangerous. In addition, your dog can be more receptive to dog toothpaste, which is flavored to taste like poultry.
During the process of brushing your dog’s teeth, bleeding may occur. Once it happens, pay attention to the status of bleeding. If it’s severe, it can be a sign that your dog has a common dental health problem like periodontitis. If major bleeding happens, call your pet immediately.
3. Give Your Dog A Special Dental Diet
Another dental health tip to remember as a new dog owner is to give your pet a dry food dental diet. The kibbles are bigger, which means your dog needs to chew more. As your dog bites bigger kibbles, small plaques may rub off their teeth as more saliva is produced, keeping the mouth protected.
4. Offer The Right Chew Treats
Several treats are made to keep your dog’s teeth cleaner. Search for the treats carrying the seal from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), which signifies the products meet quality standards and are effective in controlling tartar and plaque.
While items without the seal may still work, you can be sure the products with the seal are more effective. Also, it’s beneficial to know which chew treats you must avoid. For instance, treats including real bones, pig’s ears, and cow hooves may damage your dog’s teeth or could cause severe issues if ingested.
Moreover, as much as your dog may love playing fetch with a tennis ball, the green or yellow sphere is notorious for causing the wearing of the tooth’s surface. Therefore, use a non-abrasive toy or ball when playing.
If you’re confused with the options available in the market, you can ask your vet about the best chew treats you can purchase for your dog.
5. Have A Dental Care Routine For Your Dog
The earlier you create a dental care routine for your dog’s dental health, the easier it’ll be for you in the long run. In fact, having a dental care routine when your dog is still a puppy makes it an excellent experience for both of you since your dog will be used to brushing as it gets older.
No matter when you start your dog’s dental health routine, many dogs at any age won’t be fond of brushing at first. It may also take time before your dog gets used to brushing to keep their gums and teeth cleaned. If you don’t know how to create a proper dental care routine for your dog, it’s always a good idea to ask for help from your vet.
6. Use Tooth Wipes As An Alternative To Toothbrushes
If your dog doesn’t like toothbrushes, you may want to consider using tooth wipes as an alternative. Such pre-moistened wipes may be used regularly to wipe your dog’s teeth. The best quality tooth wipes are well-textured and designed to clean your dog’s teeth. They also don’t damage gums, and they’re much easier to use without the need for rinsing.
7. Choose A Healthy Dog Toothpaste
As mentioned, toothpaste made for humans isn’t suitable for dogs because it contains toxic ingredients for dogs like xylitol and fluoride. So, choose a toothpaste that’s healthy and safe for your dog. The best dog toothpaste should be made with ingredients formulated for dogs to remove tartar and plaque. For instance, you can opt for the toothpaste that comes with organic extracts and oils like coconut oil.
Such ingredients can help freshen your dog’s breath naturally, improve overall dental health, and reduce tooth decay. However, before you brush your dog’s teeth, give your dog a small amount of your chosen toothpaste gel to know whether your pet likes it.
Signs Your Dog Needs Proper Dental Health Care
Dental diseases are common in dogs. Once they reach the age of three, most suffer from periodontal disease. The key to good dog dental health is early detection and treatment. Below are the signs that could indicate potential dental issues:
- Inflamed Gums
Inflamed and bleeding gums are due to the bacteria lingering in your dog’s mouth from the food left in the teeth. Bacteria typically gather under the gum line of your dog’s mouth, which can result in bone degeneration, tooth loss, and other issues.
- Bad Breath
As a new dog owner, never expect your pet to have a fresh breath. However, it doesn’t mean that bad breath is normal. When your dog has bad breath, it can be due to the bacteria from decaying food, which can cause infection or gingivitis. Any kind of foul odor from your dog’s mouth can be a sign of a problem professionals should immediately examine.
- Trouble Chewing
If your dog can’t chew properly or eat its food without chewing, it can signify a dental health problem. Infected gums and teeth can be painful for your dog while chewing food. On the other hand, loose teeth may cause your dog to stop using its teeth to break the food they’re eating.
- Swollen Jaw
If your dog has an infection on the roots of the teeth, it may lead to an abscess, making his jaw swollen. There can be a lump either on the low part of the jaw or on the upper jaw near the eye. If the abscess gets bigger, it’s time to visit the nearest vet.
- Tartar And Plaque
Like humans, dogs build up plaque from food particles, which form a sticky film on their teeth and may become tartar. It’s visible as a brown or yellow material on the tooth surface. When left untreated, it can result in gingivitis and result in tooth loss as well as other dental health problems.
If your dog shows any of the above signs, make sure to schedule an appointment for a professional dental cleaning to evaluate your dog’s dental health and treat any problems. Since most dental problems happen below the gumline where it isn’t visible, a thorough evaluation and cleaning are necessary.
Reasons Why You Should Take Care Of Your Dog’s Dental Health
Your dog’s dental health is as essential as your dental health as a human. If you care about your dog’s overall welfare, make sure to brush your pet’s teeth regularly.
Here are some of the reasons why you should prioritize your dog’s dental health:
- Prevent Organ Damage
The bacteria in your dog’s plaque may spread to the heart, liver, and kidneys once they enter the bloodstream. This spread is known as bacteremia, which may damage your dog’s organs and result in sickness. With good dental health, bacteremia can be prevented, keeping your dog’s organs safe.
- Prevent Tooth Loss
The structures supporting the teeth of your dog can be infected or damaged. Prolonged, severe damage may cause your teeth to fall out or loosen. By prioritizing your dog’s dental health, you can ensure that such teeth-supporting structures remain healthy and strong. This will keep your dog’s teeth in place, allowing for easier playing and chewing.
- Prevent Bad Breath
If your dog has a bad breath, it’s a sign there’s a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. It’s often due to poor dental care and can only be prevented if you always clean your dog’s teeth. Otherwise, any food particle clinging to your dog’s gums and teeth will form a plaque.
It’s the same process that usually happens with humans. Plaque or biological biofilm coats your dog’s tooth surface. After several days, the film may turn cement-hard. While its first layer is microscopic, some layers may accumulate in the long run, creating a yellow film over the tooth surface.
To get rid of plaque, brushing regularly is necessary before it turns into tartar. Once your dog has a buildup of tartar, professional cleaning is needed.
- Prevent Pain
Periodontal disease and gingivitis can cause pain to your dogs. This may result in mood changes, which can affect how they eat. To prevent oral pain, it’s crucial to keep your dog’s gums and teeth healthy.
Some of the signs your dog suffers from a dental disease may include drooling, broken teeth, and refusal to drink or eat. Make sure to keep an eye on these signs to avoid your dog’s pain from getting severe.
- Prevent Periodontal Disease
Tartar may cause gum infection and inflammation of your dog’s teeth. The gums may start to recede, which may leave your gums and teeth more vulnerable. This may result in gingivitis, which may cause tooth loss. When gingivitis isn’t prevented, it may result in a more severe periodontal disease. Pay attention to your dog’s dental health to help your pet avoid the condition.
- Enable You To Save More In The Future
Catching dental health problems as early as possible will help you prevent serious issues over time. For instance, when a vet notices plaque, they can easily clean it before it becomes tartar, preventing bacteria from spreading.
As a result, you’re helping your dog prevent organ damage, which can save you more from a costly treatment or procedure. In short, working on your dog’s dental care will give you peace of mind and benefit your wallet in the long run.
- Dogs Often Hide Their Dental Pain
You won’t notice your dog’s dental health problem until it becomes serious. The reason behind it is that most dogs are good at hiding their pain. So, take your dog for a regular dental checkup to confirm if your pet has a healthy mouth. Once you do this, it’s easy to catch any dental problem and determine the possible treatment your dog needs.
As a new dog owner, it’s your responsibility to care for your dog’s dental health. So, make sure to have a proper dental care routine, brush your dog’s teeth regularly, and visit the vet for professional cleanings. It’s also wise to consult your vet about the best toothbrush, toothpaste, and other oral hygiene products suited for your dog to prevent any possible dental health problem. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you take care of your pet.