Dental care tips for your dog

Your canine's canines are super important!

Why should you look after your dog's oral hygiene?

Your dog experiences the world with their senses and that includes their taste buds. They like to get hold of things and chew on them – see what they taste like and see if they are edible. Through all of this, and other reasons we will discuss, they can experience not only bad dog breath but teeth that worsen in condition over the years. This can infect them, and their health and their teeth will eventually have to be removed. Let’s look at all the ways you can look after your dog’s dental care for your sake and theirs – so that all the times you go down and smother them with kisses, it’s not a bad experience for anyone!

 

Reasons to look after their oral hygiene

Looking after your dog’s grooming needs and oral hygiene isn’t only about allowing them to have shiny white teeth with fresh breath – it actually affects their overall health. There are many reasons dog dental care is an important part of your dog’s life.

1. Helps remove tartar and plaque buildup

When you brush your dog’s teeth regularly, you remove tartar and plaque that has built up over time. Tartar is dangerous as it can spread from the mouth to other parts of your dog’s body where it can cause uncomfortable blockages that badly affect joints as well as organs. Brushing on a regular basis also prevents cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and many other complications that you simply can prevent with good dog dental care.

2. Helps prevent periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is very common among dogs. It causes gingivitis and affects your dog’s gums. By brushing your dog’s teeth, you stimulate their teeth and gums in a healthy way making sure that they will have strong and healthy teeth as they grow older.

3. Helps take care of their internal organs

There are dangerous toxins from oral diseases that can occur if you don’t take care of your dog’s oral hygiene that can be absorbed into your little best friend’s bloodstream. This can all damage their heart, liver as well as the kidneys. Protect your heart and theirs with regular brushing because if anything occurs you will be heartbroken!

How are dog's teeth different to human teeth?

Dog teeth are different to human teeth because of our different diets. Dog’s don’t grind things like seeds or nuts. Their teeth are sharp, made to pull apart flesh as they are able, at some level, to exist in the wild!

Puppies have 28 deciduous teeth which grow into full adult teeth within a few months – as opposed to human adult teeth which take years to pop up. In total, there will be 42 adult teeth (humans have 32). Their teeth only pop out at three to four weeks of age. If any baby teeth don’t fall out, they have to be removed by a vet. At first a puppy’s teeth are very sharp. They need it to be this way as their jaws are not fully developed and they need help chewing things. That’s why it’s always painful playing with a puppy who loves to nip at you.

Stinky dog breath and how to cope with it

The main reasons that stinky breath (halitosis) may occur are the following:

  • Bad oral hygiene and periodontal disease.
  • Eating the wrong foods – You never know sometimes what your dog gets hold of!
  • Diabetes – If their breath is sweet or fruity you need to take your dog to the vet as they may have diabetes which is totally treatable.
  • Kidney disease – If their breath has the scent of pee, they may have kidney disease and need to see the vet immediately.
  • Liver disease – Your angel may be vomiting or have a loss of appetite or have a yellow hue to their gums. A problem with the liver can be fatal and you need to take your dog immediately to the vet if any of these symptoms occur. 

The best ways to prevent stinky breath with dogs are:

  • Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly.
  • Making sure they cannot access the trash can.
  • Taking them for a professional cleaning once a year.

Top tools to get the dental job done

In order to brush your pooch’s teeth, you’re going to need the correct equipment at hand. Take a visit to your nearest pet shop or vet and make sure to purchase the correct toothbrush. It will need to be moistened with soft bristles. You can also get the job done with a child’s toothbrush, gauze wrapped tightly around the finger, a finger toothbrush or a cotton swab.

It is important to remember to never use human toothpaste, salt or baking soda to brush your dog’s teeth as it can be dangerous to dogs if they swallow it. You will need a special dog toothpaste. These toothpastes come with malt, poultry, and other dog-friendly tastes that your dog or puppy will enjoy the taste of.

Are denta-sticks all that they're cracked up to be?

Puppy teething occurs when their adult teeth replace baby teeth. It usually occurs when your puppy is three months old. During this time, they will want to bite and chew everything in plain sight. In this case there are Pedigree Dentastix which help reduce all the buildup and plaque. It’s important to use a well-known brand with regards to these. Never give Pedigree Dentastix to a puppy that is less than 5 pounds/2.27 kilos. It is really important when giving your dog these kinds of “treats” to make sure the ingredients are sourced mainly from North America. In the past, there have been cases where dogs and cats died from such treats. These dangerous treats were from Asia and had toxic chemicals – so you have to be really careful. In my honest opinion I would skip these all together and rather opt for denta toys.

Denta toys are a much better alternative. Some squeak, some are ringed and some even are made with rope. They come in an array of colours. Get yours from a reputable manufacturer who makes good quality denta toys which won’t fall apart in your puppy’s mouth. These will keep your pup biting and playing for hours instead of nibbling on you.

Extra dog dental care tips

  • When brushing, lift your puppy’s lip in order to expose the exact surface of their gums and teeth.
  • Be gentle with brushing – especially in the beginning, when your puppy needs to get used to it.
  • Make sure to clean the outside of all the teeth and try get inside – if your dog allows.
  • Concentrate on the back-upper molars as well as the canines, as these specific teeth tend to build up tartar quickly.
  • Reward your dog with their favourite activity and special healthy treat (like a small piece of chicken breast) and play with them so that they realize they have done a good job!

At the end of the day the saddest thing is an old, sick dog unable to chew its food because of bad, painful or missing teeth – so do the right thing and brush!

For any extra information you may need or to book an appointment, feel at ease to contact Brandon 
and he will answer any question you may have!

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