Dog Dental Care
Dog dental care at home is very important part from the dog grooming process. About eight out of ten dogs older than three will wind up with dental problems, specifically gum disease. As with people, if you treat dental disease in the early stages, it won’t get worse. But if a dog’s teeth accumulate tartar, then the gums become inflamed, “doggie breath” follows, and the bacterial infections that result can enter your dog’s bloodstream and become a danger to your dog’s overall health, affecting vital organs.
You can find a canine dental specialist by contacting the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS) at (800) 332-AVDS. According to their statistics, dental disease is the most common problem dogs face, affecting eighty-five percent of dogs older than three.
Awareness of canine dental health is a fairly new phenomenon.
Just as there is a wide range of human dental conditions—some of them genetic —so are there differences among dogs. In some dogs more than others, plaque builds up on the teeth, which allows tartar to develop, on top of which more plaque builds up.
Every dog’s teeth are different.
The tendency to build up tartar and plaque may be an inherited trait, or the chemistry in some dogs’ saliva may encourage tartar formation. You can have a three-year-old purebred dog who has enjoyed superb nutrition but still has brown teeth and inflamed gums, while an eight-year-old mixed breed with questionable eating habits may have “pearly whites.”
Tips for dog dental care
Check Out Your Dog’s Teeth
The first tip for dog dental care is checking out your dog’s teeth before doing anything else. If you look inside your dog’s mouth and there is a buildup of crusty stuff on the teeth—check the side and back teeth, too, if her gums look red or inflamed— make an appointment with your vet. In a case like this, a dog’s teeth need professional cleaning.
Home brushing won’t make much difference until that plaque is scraped off with dental tools. But once your vet gets your dog’s teeth on the right track, you can take over from there in maintaining clean teeth and perhaps reducing the need for future professional cleaning.
Symptoms of dental problems
The 2nd tip for dog dental care at home is checking your dog’s mouth every week and look for broken, discolored or missing teeth, and for pale or bleeding gums. Dogs don’t have an easily recognizable way to communicate dental pain, but if they have a dental problem they may exhibit some of the behavior listed in the chart below.
- Chewing only on one side
- Dropping food from mouth when eating
- Foul breath
- Bleeding gums
- Licking lips and teeth excessively
- Pawing at the mouth
- Rubbing face on the ground
- Bad reaction (snapping, snarling) when patted on head
- Pain in the mouth (broken tooth, abscess, tumor, swelling)
- Refusing chew toys previously enjoyed
- Dropping toys
- Change in eating or chewing habits
- Decreased appetite
- Slow weight loss
The 3rd tip for dog dental care is brushing the dog teeth. Times have changed where dogs’ tooth care is concerned. I never had a vet clean my dog’s teeth or tell me to do it myself at home—and I was never aware of dental problems even in Pango, my “first sibling,” who lived to the ripe old age of sixteen. But so much has been learned about canine health and wellness over the last few decades, and canine dentistry is one area that has come a long way.
Veterinarians now stress dental care from the first puppy visit at eight to twelve weeks of age, encouraging people to accustom their young puppies to having their gums and teeth brushed. More is now known about the serious danger of a bacterial infection and inflammation in a dog’s gums getting into his bloodstream and entering his heart, lungs, kidney or liver.
So if you’ve been cohabiting with dogs for a long time without ever getting involved with their teeth—as I have—then it looks like it’s time for us to get with the program and learn some new dental hygiene habits for our pooches.
Products for Home Dental Care
The 4th tip for dog dental care is selecting the products for home dental care which include:
- Use canine toothpaste, because human toothpaste is too sudsy and has too much fluoride for dogs.
- You can make toothpaste of half salt and half baking soda, slightly moistened.
- Start out by using a gauze square wrapped around your finger or a washcloth with your index finger behind it. Once the dog accepts that in his mouth, you can graduate to a brush.
- Use a soft- to medium-bristle child’s toothbrush—once the dog has gotten used to the feeling of bristles on his teeth and gums, you can try a dog toothbrush, if you want, or just stay with the kid’s brush.
- There are dental wipes you can use instead of brushing, if that seems easier for you and your dog. One brand is DentAcetic—you wrap the wipe around your finger and rub the dog’s gums and teeth.
- Using an oral gel is the next best option if brushing won’t work for you. Rub a drop or two of a product like Maxiguard gel on your dog’s gums and teeth every day.
Steps of brushing
The 5th tip for dog dental care is sticking the steps of teeth brushing which include:
- First make your dog into the notion of having its teeth brushed. Message and scrub dog’s lips with your finger in a circular motion for 30 to 60 seconds, one or two times every day for a couple weeks. Then proceed ahead to her gums and teeth.
- Whenever your dog appears to be comfortable being touched in this manner, put only a small dog toothpaste or perhaps a paste of baking soda and warm water onto its lips to become accustomed to the taste.
- Then present a toothbrush designed particularly for dogs, it is smaller compared to the human toothbrush and also have smooth bristles. Toothbrushes which can be weared on your finger, these toothbrushes also are available and permit you to provide a great massage into your pet’s gums.
- Finally, brush your dog teeth gently when you put the toothpaste on its teeth.
- A veterinary exam beforehand can be useful to discover if your pet dog’s gums are infected or inflamed. If your pet infected with mild gingivitis, you should be careful in brushing teeth dog because too hard brushing can hurt her gums.
The 6th tip for dog dental care at home is putting your gauze-wrapped finger or the brush with a 45-degree angle into the teeth and wash at small, circular motions. Focus with one part of your pet’s mouth at one time, lifting its lip just as vital. The side of this tooth which rolls the cheek usually gets the very best tartar, and also giving your closing downward stroke might help remove it.
If your pet dog combats with the inner workings of her teeth cleaned, then do not fight it-only a little bit of tartar collects. After getting the technique down, then you should make a brushing dog teeth for 2 or 3 times every week.
How Often to Brush or Check Your Dog’s Teeth?
The 7th tip for dog dental care at home is knowing how often to brush or check your dog’s teeth. Your dog’s dental-care routine depends on your own motivation and the condition of his teeth.
If he’s one of the unfortunate ones who builds up tartar quickly, then your brushing will really make a difference. It’s going to be easier to keep those teeth clean if you can give them a rub-down or brushing every day, or at least every other day.
Some veterinary dentists recommend brushing a dog’s teeth daily, while others say several times a week, but it really depends mostly on your individual situation. If you have a dog with shiny white teeth, then I don’t see why once a week wouldn’t be sufficient.
Accustom a Dog to Having His Teeth Touched.
The 8th tip for dog dental care at home is getting your dog used to having his mouth messed around with by dipping your finger into soup and then rubbing your finger gently over his teeth and gums. Then wrap gauze around your finger and gently rub the teeth in a circular motion.
Finally, introduce a soft dog toothbrush and use a canine-friendly toothpaste to begin gently, but firmly, brushing his teeth, similar to the way you brush your own teeth.
The 8th tip for dog dental care at home is observing the discolored teeth. If a tooth turns a pink-purplish color, it means it has been damaged. Discoloration is usually from blunt trauma, a blow to the tooth that causes the inner core—the pulp—to become inflamed.
Other causes of a tooth that has turned a pink-purplish color are infection of the pulp from a blood-borne disease, excessive chewing on hard objects or improper use of dental cleaning equipment. Canine dentists recommend that all discolored teeth should be treated, especially in older dogs where the tooth pulp is probably not going to heal on its own. Treatment consists of either repair or removal of the tooth.
Chew on This
The 8th tip for dog dental care is chewing. Chew-toys may meet your pet’s natural urge to chomp, while making his teeth strong. Gnawing on a chew toy may additionally help massage his teeth and keep his teeth clean by scratching plaque away.
Consult your veterinarian to urge toxin-free Raw Hide, rubber and nylon chew toys.Gnawing prevents boredom and minimize your dog stress level and also provides it an proper outlet for his natural desire to chew off.
Read More About:
- Dog grooming tips and ticks
- Dog grooming tips for beginners
- How to Take Care of a Puppy
- Seven advices to take care of a pup
- Difficulties in the dog grooming
- Dog Feeding schedule benefits
- Puppy grooming at home
- Crate training a dog for potty training