Just like you and me, a dogs dental health is extremely important to their well-being. Unfortunately, statistics show that only 1 in 10 dog owners take time out to check and ensure proper oral care.
Know the Signs
First thing is first, how to tell if your pupper may have a serious oral disease. It is imperative that as your dogs owner and companion, you are aware of the signs of dangerous dental problems. The include:
- Bad breath
- Noticeable increase in drooling
- Difficulty or refusal to eat, resulting in weightloss
- Red/swollen gums
- Yellow plaque on teeth
Not only does dental disease lead to mouth pain and tooth loss, periodontal disease increases the risk for oral infections, potentially spreading to other areas of the body if left untreated.
Types of Disease
There are a number of serious oral disease your dog may fall ill to if left untreated, including:
Gingivitis - Inflammation of the gums.
Calculus - Calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate combined with organic material, deposited on the surface of the tooth.
Periodontitis - A general term for the disease of the oral cavity that attacks the gum, gone and tissue around the teeth.
Plaque - The first build-up of material adhering to tooth enamel.
Pyorrhea - Inflammation of the gums and tooth sockets, often leading to loosening of the teeth and pus.
Naturally, the best form of oral disease prevention is to regularly brush your dogs teeth. You will want to get yourself a proper toothbrush made for dogs. Finger brushes work great for small - medium dogs, the extra reach of a brush will be beneficial for larger dogs. You will also need tooth paste or brushing gel, Pisces recommends: Tropiclean Peanut Butter Oral Care Gel. Get your dog into a relaxed, comfortable state. Try kneeling or sitting beside your dog instead of taking a dominant stance. Your dog will likely not be willing to let you touch its teeth immediately, gently rub your finger along the teeth and gums so your dog may get accustom to the feeling, this may take time. After your dog is familiar with the feeling, use some gel and begin brushing gently. Make sure to focus extra on plaque and gums.
Make Oral Hygiene Fun!
Another great way to ensure a healthy mouth for your dog is to make it fun! There are plenty of fun products that your dog will love which simultaneously clean teeth and reduce plaque build up. Dental chews and treats are another excellent way to help combat and prevent gum disease and tartar build-up, Pisces recommends Greenies Original Dental Treats. Additionally, PlaqueOff Powder is a great daily additive to wet and dry dog food that will help fight plaque build up.