How often do you brush your teeth?
Would you let days, weeks, or even months go by without brushing your teeth? Of course not! Your dog can’t pick up a toothbrush and clean his own teeth: he relies on you. 80% (or more!) of dogs over three years old have gum disease. And it’s not only a problem for dogs – cats need dental care as well!
Does your dog have any of the following symptoms?
- Apparent pain when chewing or a seeming reluctance to chew
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Excessive drooling or saliva
- Loose or missing teeth
- Mouth ulcers
- Redness or puffiness of the gums
- Tartar build up (usually a brown or yellow substance)
These are signs of gum disease, which leads to loss of teeth, bone and also (just as in humans) other serious health issues, including heart, liver and kidney damage.
Do it yourself dental care
Daily tooth brushing is recomended. Your veterinarian may stock finger brushes, doggy toothbrushes and specially-formulated canine toothpaste. Just the act of placing a bit of the toothpaste on a brush and running it along the outsides of your dog’s teeth and gums removes plaque, which (if not removed) will harden into tartar within 36 hours. If you incorporate this practice into your routine while your dog is still a puppy, it’s easy to continue as the dog grows older.
Chew Toys for dental health
There are chew toys specially made to help prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar which cause periodontal disease. The hard, coarse texture of such a toy scratches off the residue of food that can build into plaque and calculus on your dog’s teeth. An added bonus: these toys freshen your dog’s breath because they remove smelly bacteria. Appropriate chew toys can also prevent destructive chewing behavior, as well as helping your new puppy with teething issues!
You don’t have to do it ALL yourself: you can also take your fur babies to the vet for professional cleanings. Veterinary dentistry is every bit as advanced these days as the human version!
For more information on caring for your precious babies’ teeth and gums, please click here to visit this website