Believe it or not, it’s as important to look after your dog’s teeth as looking after your own. Just like us, if left on their teeth, our dogs will experience plaque build-up. This transforms into tartar, accumulates around the gum line, irritates the gums, and eventually leads to inflamed gums (known as gingivitis), which is the beginning of gum disease. Causing teeth to fall out, and if it gets a bacterial infection of vital organs into their bloodstream. Taking care of the teeth of your dog will not only lead to a happier pet but will also help you prevent costly dental bills.
So “how am I doing this”? We hear you screaming. Our four tips help make sure your dog keeps its pearly whites safe.
During your dog’s annual check-up, your vet will be able to spot any issues, but before that time, here are some signs you can look for:
Deposits of yellow and brown tartar on the gum line
Gums swollen and bleeding
Notice, for a number of health reasons dogs can have bad breath so don’t ignore a foul scent as plain old doggy breath.
You take care of yourself in many of the same ways; daily brushing, a good diet and the occasional check-up help keep your dog’s teeth safe. Using toothpaste made especially for dogs. They are better than those we use because they can cause pain due to foaming and stomach upset.
The toothbrush, what? You may be able to use a normal toothbrush, depending on the size of your dog’s teeth and mouth. Again, brushes that fit on your finger are specially built to make brushing easier too.
And you can always ask for their advice from your vet.
While brushing is easier if you start when they’re still young, eventually a dog of any age will get used to it. You should clean the teeth of your dog at least once a week but it is better to clean them once a day.
Often start calming them down with plenty of reassurance. Let them then have a tiny taste of the toothpaste, start brushing their teeth gently in a massage-like motion. This helps them to accustom themselves to the sensation.
Brush in a circular movement, paying careful attention to where the dent meets the gum. Then brush vertically towards the inside of the mouth when you’re almost through to remove any plaque you’ve dislodged.
At first, they will not like it, but be patient, in the end, you’ll get there.
Specially formulated dog foods and treats will reduce tartar and prevent the occurrence of gum disease.
This is the best way to ensure that your dog gets some sort of “brushing” every day. Our VetEssentials dry pet food for example includes unique kibble technology that provides clinically validated cleaning action. You should still speak to your doctor to see if they have a specific diet or procedure they prefer.
Please notice, it’s important to keep your dog’s teeth in good shape for their overall health.
-- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
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