Dog dental care is an important part of dog health that is often ignored. Many dogs like to put up a fight when it comes to teeth brushing and dental cleaning. So, some dog parents seem to think it’s easier to avoid the issue altogether. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Dental care is an essential part of your dog’s health, so you cannot ignore their teeth cleaning needs no matter how difficult your dog is.
Negative Effects of Poor Dog Dental Care
Avoiding dental care for you dog can lead to serious long-term effects in the future. Your dog’s teeth might look fine when you first bring them home, but over time, poor dental care can slowly take a toll on your dog’s health. Oftentimes, you might not even notice a problem before it’s too late. That’s why it’s important to get ahead of your dog’s dental needs.
Plaque and Tartar Build-up
Failure to brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis will most likely result in plaque and tartar buildup. This is especially true for their back teeth, which are typically much harder to clean. The problem usually starts with sticky plaque lining your dog’s teeth, which can later harden and become tartar. The longer you wait to address this issue, the more your dog is at risk of getting a serious dental disease.
Abnormalities with Teeth
Cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly can also help you examine what goes on inside their mouth. Most dog parents know that they should check their dog’s body for abnormalities on a regular basis, but the mouth is the one area that’s often missed. Dog health problems can occur anywhere, so even your dog’s teeth should be looked at often. It’s possible that your dog could have a broken or fractured tooth without you even knowing. So, checking your dog’s teeth can help you spot their pain early on, even if your dog shows no other symptoms.
Gum Disease and Gingivitis
The longer your dog goes without proper teeth cleaning, the more likely they are to have a health problem like gum disease or gingivitis. Gum disease is caused by the build-up of tartar and plaque, which can lead to infections and even the loss of teeth. Gingivitis is an inflammation where the gum meets the tooth. Both of these can be extremely painful and uncomfortable for your dog, so if you suspect that your dog is suffering from one of these health problems, you should contact your vet right away. Brushing your dog’s teeth after they already have one of these diseases will not help it go away. In fact, it might only irritate your dog’s mouth more.
How to Practice Dog Dental Care
Dental disease for your dog can be frightening, but luckily, there are plenty of ways to prevent these problems from occurring. Caring for your dog’s teeth will take a lot of additional time, patience, and effort, but it’s worth it since it will help your dog stay healthy.
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
The easiest way to practice dog dental care is to brush your dog’s teeth. Like humans, dogs actually need their teeth brushed daily to keep them healthy. However, many dog parents fail to even brush them weekly. Ideally, the more often you brush your dog’s teeth, the better off they will be. So, avoiding the problem completely is not an option. Most dogs are not happy about getting their teeth brushed, but the more often you do it, the sooner they will get used to it. Always be extra gentle with your dog and praise them when they behave during this process.
When brushing your dog’s teeth, make sure to use toothpaste and a toothbrush that’s specifically made for dogs. Human toothpaste can have harmful chemicals in it and it won’t be as effective as dog toothpaste. Additionally, the ideal toothbrush should be one that fits on your finger so you can reach your dog’s teeth easier. When brushing your dog’s teeth, do not force their mouth open. That will only scare them more and cause them to squirm. The ideal way to brush your dog’s teeth is by simply lifting their lips and brushing the exterior of the teeth.
If you’ve tried everything, but your dog just won’t cooperate with teeth brushing, then that’s not an excuse to neglect that part of their care. The best way to handle it is to take your dog to the vet for regular oral examinations. The vet can often brush your dog’s teeth for you and provide a deep cleaning if they feel its necessary. Your vet can also give you pointers on how to help your dog cooperate better for dental care if possible.
Give Them Dental Treats and Chews
In between regular brushings, you should consider trying easier methods to keep your dog’s teeth clean. There are plenty of treats and chews made specifically to clean your dog’s teeth and give them fresh breath. Plus, gnawing on an object can often help scrape the plaque off your dog’s back teeth. These items should not be used as your only method of dog dental care, but they can definitely help on the days that you don’t brush your dog’s teeth.
Some companies also have other unique products to help your dog’s teeth such as water additives or teeth wipes. Again, these methods should be accompanied by regular teeth cleaning because they can’t get into the crevices of your dog’s teeth. Even so, the more you do for your dog’s health, the safer they’ll likely be.
Schedule Professional Cleanings
The best way to ensure that your dog’s teeth stay healthy is to schedule a professional teeth cleaning with your veterinarian. They can do a deep cleaning to remove all the plaque that regular teeth brushing can’t get to. Then, your vet can also inform you about any issues they find in your dog’s mouth. These cleanings should be handled as soon as possible to make sure your dog’s teeth are healthy before you continuously brush them. Otherwise, teeth brushing might not be fully effective if there’s already something wrong with your dog’s dental health.
Dog dental care is just as important as any other aspect of your dog’s health. Therefore, you should always take it seriously to prevent your dog from getting hurt. Your dog might not be happy about it in the moment, but they will definitely be content in the long run when they don’t have to deal with a dental disease. Your dog’s health should always be a priority, so take good care of every part of them.