Oral hygiene for dogs is as important as proper exercise, nutrition and good grooming. The simplest way to monitor your dog’s dental hygiene is by keenly observing his/her mouth on a regular basis for signs of dental problems, which may include but in no way limited to:
- Reluctance to chew or difficulty when chewing.
- Bad breathe.
- Red gums.
- Bleeding gums.
- Yellow or brown hard coating of teeth.
- Missing and loose teeth.
- Tumours on the gums.
- Cysts under the tongue.
- Excessive drooling.
While inspecting your dog’s mouth, gently lift the lips around the mouth; look at the front and back of the teeth. The gums should be pink, not white or red and with no sighs of swelling. His/her teeth should be white with no sign of coloured tartar. Noting these symptoms will help you know when to visit the veterinary for treatment so that the problem doesn’t get aggravated.
HOME DENTAL CARE FOR DOGS
Brushing your dog’s teeth is essential for his/her oral hygiene; when you decide to brush your dog’s teeth always remember to:
- Use enzymatic toothpaste made especially for dogs; human toothpaste can make your dog sick.
- Because plaque turns into tartar within 24 hours, brush your dog’s teeth daily.
- Use a special toothbrush designed for use on dogs.
- Before you begin ask your veterinarian to show you brushing techniques, which can make brushing easier for you and your dog.
- A veterinary exam beforehand may help to find out if your dog’s gums are inflamed. Brushing too hard can hurt his gums.
- Provide your dog with chew toys, which can satisfy his desire to chomp while making his teeth strong.
- Maintain a healthy diet of specially formulated dry food, which can slow down formation of plaque and tartar.
- Address dental disease as soon as it is detected.
Apart from brushing your dog’s teeth other alternatives for at home dental care includes:
- Using dental rinses especially for dogs.
- Purchase special dental treats and avoid real bones, which may lead to gastrointestinal upsets and also cause tooth fractures.
- Professional dental cleansing.
Dogs need dental care, starting a dental care routine as early as possible will ensure your dog gets accustomed to having his teeth brushed and inspected regularly. Both you and your dog will reap the benefits of healthy canine teeth. This includes having a healthy dog because he/she can eat well. You also get to enjoy the company of your dog for a long time because a clean mouth means fewer ailments.