What Kind Of Dental Care Does My Dog Need?
Although we may not think of it as often as we should, our dogs need regular dental care just as we do. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, about 2/3 of pet owners don't provide the dental care recommended by vets. More than 80 percent of dogs will develop gum disease by age 3.
The American Veterinary Dental Society recommends daily brushing of your dog's teeth. They suggest that you have your dog's teeth checked annually by your veterinarian. Your vet can clean your dog's teeth to remove tartar, if necessary. Diet is also very important for good oral health. There are some dog foods that have a special tartar formulation to help prevent build-up.
There's really not much truth to the belief that feeding dry food will prevent your dog from developing dental disease. Dry food particles break down and become lodged in your dog's teeth. They really aren't hard or crunchy enough to provide teeth cleaning advantages. Feeding canned food, however, will make teeth develop problems even faster if you don't brush.
People who feed a raw diet to their dogs can feel good that their dogs often have beautiful pearly white teeth. Eating raw food and munching on raw bones provides dogs with a great deal of teeth cleaning help. If you feed your dog kibble or canned food you can help your dog's teeth stay cleaner by adding some raw chicken wings or other raw meaty bones to their diet on a regular basis.
You can improve your dog's dental health by brushing. It's not hard to do. There are special dog toothbrushes and dog toothpastes that you can find in pet supply stores or online. Dog toothpastes even come in appealing (to dogs) flavors like peanut butter and beef. Most dogs enjoy the taste and try to eat the paste.
Brushing the front teeth and canines is easy. Be sure to reach back and brush the teeth that are harder to see. This is where teeth often become diseased and have to ultimately be pulled so it's important to keep them clean.
If you don't like to use a toothbrush on your dog, or your dog doesn't like it, there are also small rubber brushes that fit over your thumb. You can slip one of these brushes on and reach all around your dog's mouth to brush his teeth.
There are even pre-treated pads that you can use to clean your dog's teeth if you prefer them.
Regular care of your dog's teeth can make an enormous difference. If you don't take care of his teeth he may begin experiencing rotting teeth, bad breath and even teeth that break and come out later in life. Dental care later in life can lead to serious problems and can be very expensive since it can require anesthesia to do dental work. It's much easier to take regular care of your dog's teeth throughout his life.
If you find that your dog has very bad breath you should check his teeth. Often bad breath is a sign of dental problems. If your dog is refusing food or otherwise having trouble eating you should also check his teeth. Often an older dog will begin to refuse food not because he has lost interest in eating but because he is having teeth problems. Once his teeth have been fixed he will dive into his food again.
by: Tristan Andrews