As a dog owner, you ensure the best for your buddy: quality food, fitness activities, and routine visits to the vet. But have you ever paid attention to what’s going on in his mouth? The good news – dogs are not as prone to cavities as human beings are. However, if not given proper attention, dogs can develop oral problems like tartar, plaque buildup and gingivitis.
You may be surprised to know, but most dogs have poor oral health. Veterinarians say 80% of dogs over the age of 3 have some form of periodontal disease. If your dog has a toothache, sore gums or another oral discomfort, your dog is suffering from bad dental health. Isn’t it strange you didn’t get to know your dog is in pain? This is because dogs often suffer in silence.
Understand your dog’s mouth
- Did you know a full grown dog has as many as 42 teeth? They use their mouth and teeth to chew, fetch, carry and play. For all this and more, their oral hygiene is very important.
- Gum diseases are largely due to plaque buildup which forms tartar. It starts with the bacteria sticking to the teeth, leading to an off-white sticky coating on the surface. This is called dental plaque. This, if left untreated, hardens to form tartar which is a brown rough deposit on the teeth.
- Dogs don’t show signs of weakness. Even if your dog is suffering from a severe dental problem or chronic pain, he will not show. He will be his usual self: he will eat normally, play happily.
- It doesn’t stay restricted to their mouth. Bacteria caused by plaque don’t just stay in your dog’s mouth – it moves further to other organs too. This may lead to systemic infection of other organs like heart and kidneys.
Help your dog maintain his dental health.
Everyone loves a beaming smile, even your dog! Here are tips to maintain your dog’s oral health:
- Annual Check-ups: Make sure you get your pooch’s teeth checked by a vet at least once every year. A full dental examination is a must if your dog is suffering from dental discomfort.
- Harness the Good Habit: Just like you brush your teeth routine. To make this a habit start early with your dog every day, your dog too needs a daily mouth-cleansing when he is just a pup. Get a doggie toothbrush and get brushing every day. Or, to make mouth cleansing fun and easy, go for dental care products offered by many pet brands. This is the most important step in keeping your dog’s gums and teeth healthy.
- Give him the Right Chew: There are synthetic bones and chew toys available for dogs that help in strengthening their teeth and gums. Keep in mind, not all chews and toys are designed for plaque control. It is important to choose the right chew and treat for your pet. Always go for the ones recommended by your vet.
- A Dental Diet: Make sure your buddy eats the right kind of food. Go for dry crunchy kibbles as this will scrub your dog’s teeth and will not stick to them. Also, feeding your dog branded chews and treats will help keep the plaque off.
Article Credit: Pedigree