Your dog’s oral health is just as important as all other aspects of caring for them, but it’s often overlooked. Tartar that sits on dog’s teeth is about 80% bacteria and can get into the bloodstream and infect vital organs. Dental disease is very painful for your dog as it damages gums, bones, and ligaments and can lead to teeth being removed. Unfortunately, more than 80% of dogs develop periodontal disease by 3 years old. This is why it’s important to incorporate caring for your dog’s teeth as part of a regular routine.
Brushing your dog’s teeth
One of the simplest things you can do at home to care for your dog’s teeth is to brush them regularly, but only 4% of owners do this daily. You’ll need to purchase special dog toothpaste and brushes as human toothpaste contains fluoride which is dangerous for dogs. Most toothpaste will smell and taste nice to your dog, so let them have a sniff and lick a little off your finger to get used to it. Brush your dog’s teeth weekly to begin with so they get used to it and gradually work up to brushing them daily.
Treats and toys for teeth
If you’re going to give your dog treats, use ones that are specifically designed to keep their teeth healthy. Feeding high-quality food and avoiding scraps and other human food will also help prevent plaque from building up. There are toys in every shape and size, but some care for your dog’s dental needs too. Plaque on your dog’s teeth and gums will rub onto the material of the toy to clean them. A lot of these toys can be filled with treats to encourage your pet to chew on it for longer.
Having a professional clean
Humans look after their teeth by brushing twice a day and most have a checkup every year. This is essential to maintain good oral health and avoid the pain of a toothache, nerve sensitivity, and cavities. Yet it’s rare you’ll find a dog that has their teeth cleaned twice a day and we don’t consider that they’ll need a professional clean. As dogs age, it can become inevitable for them to visit the vet for a professional cleaning and possible extraction of damaged teeth, especially if the dog hasn’t had their teeth looked after all their life. Visiting your vet annually for a checkup of your dog’s overall health, including their teeth and gums, is advised. They can tell you if any work is recommended for your pet and give you tips on caring for their teeth at home to keep them as healthy as possible.
Cleaning your dog’s teeth isn’t just about their chompers because their oral health can affect their entire body. Bacteria getting into their bloodstream can threaten your best friend’s life. Simply cleaning their teeth on a regular basis, having annual checkups at the vet and a scale and polish to remove plaque are easy ways to keep them healthy. Even better, their favorite treats and toys can make the experience enjoyable for them too.