Just as humans do, your dog may be in need of dog dental care. If your dog has typical bad doggie breath or if you notice a terrible smell when he breathes in your face, that may be a clue that your dog needs dental care.
It has only been recently that pet owners have been concerned with their pet’s dental health. Now pet owners are learning it is important to keep their dog’s teeth and gums healthy. In the past it was believed that nature would take care of the dog’s teeth naturally. That may have been true in the wild where dogs ate raw meat and chewed the bones of their kills, but in today’s society where dogs are subjected to ‘people food’ and many treats, the health issue of your dog’s dental health is more of a concern.
Commercial pet food companies have become aware of this problem and have introduced hard dog biscuits that help clean your dog’s teeth. Although that was only the beginning, it has since become well known that dogs may need help in the teeth cleaning and breath area.
Dog dental care is only one aspect of your overall pet’s health care. Dogs with healthy teeth and gums and healthy mouths, may tend to live longer and happier lives. Although having bad dental care may not necessarily decrease your pet’s overall life expectancy, it could cause him pain and discomfort and may even lead to him losing one or several teeth. Having dental problems may also cause a serious infection in the mouth which in turn may lead to heart and kidney disease.
As in humans, a dog with a healthy mouth will have better smelling breath. Bad breath can be a sign that the dog may be having trouble in his mouth. Chances are that you may not even notice unless there is a really serious problem. A clue to your dog having trouble with his teeth may be if you find that he cannot chew on one side. This may be caused by him being in pain. You may also notice that he isn’t eating because he is in so much pain. Both of these cases could be a sign that your dog has a toothache or some other kind of infection in his mouth.
Bad breath is caused by the plaque and tartar that builds up on your pet’s teeth. If the plaque and tartar are not removed from the teeth an infection in the mouth can occur. To avoid the bacteria that can cause gum disease in your dog, get your vet to remove the plaque and tarter that has been built up on your pet’s teeth.
Dogs can also get cavities in their teeth. Vets today have noted that there has been a rise in dog cavities, probably due to more of the sugary dog treats available on the market. Check the labels of the dog treats you buy to help reduce this threat. And, only feed your dog treats that are especially made for dogs.
If you are worried about your dog’s dental health, it is a good idea to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Starting a dog dental care program when your pet is young should help to prevent dental health problems and will help solve the problem of getting your dog to submit to regular teeth brushing. It is a good idea to try to brush your dog’s teeth daily, but even brushing ever other day will help keep the plaque build-up under control.
You can get toothbrushes and toothpaste made especially for dogs. It is important to use toothpaste formulated especially for dogs because human toothpaste can upset your pet’s stomach. Also, toothpaste made for dogs will have a more pleasing flavor for him. Pet toothbrushes are softer than human ones, shaped slightly differently and are generally smaller. You can also use sponge cleaners instead of a toothbrush, which consist of small sponges attached to a handle. You can generally obtain these items through your veterinarian or at pet stores.
Another area of dental care for dogs includes crooked teeth. You may find it necessary for some dogs to get braces on their teeth. Some dog breeds typically have problems in this area and need their teeth straightened enough so that their mouth opens and closes correctly. It may be necessary for your dog to get orthodontic work done on a few teeth or even have a full set of braces. Consult your vet if you feel this may be a problem area for your dog.
Dog dental care should be part of your dog’s regular health check-ups to discover any problems that may be occurring. If your dog has poor dental health it can impact how he enjoys life, and even how long he lives. Be pro-active and start your dog on a dental health routine early.