Everything You Should Know About Dog Dental Care
P Purple cow Roberts

Everything You Should Know About Dog Dental Care

Aug 22, 2023 · dental · dog

Dog dental care is an essential practice that, unfortunately, often falls by the wayside! In fact, bad breath is so rampant in dogs that most canine owners think gag-worthy breath is normal!

According to the American Kennel Club, most dogs will experience canine periodontal disease by three years old simply because their owners don’t know how to prevent it. CPD goes far beyond bad breath, posing an actual risk to the dog’s longevity, but many canine owners don’t know the signs of bad oral health.

To make your job as a fur-parent a little easier, we’re laying out the essential doggie dental care practices every canine owner should know. Use this article for a brush-up or send your patients’ parents here for a rundown of the necessities.


How to Care for a Dog’s Teeth

Brush Their Teeth Often

First thing’s first: brush your dog’s teeth! The more, the better (although brushing their teeth daily isn’t necessary). As humans, we brush our teeth to prevent plaque build-up and head off halitosis; well, dogs need this too! Unfortunately, they don’t have opposable thumbs, so they need us to get in there and clean their chompers for them.

Invest in a doggy toothbrush that fits on your finger and dog-friendly toothpaste. Standard toothpaste is dangerous for canines because they can’t help but swallow it, and the chemical formula will hurt their stomachs if ingested. Dog toothpastes, on the other hand, are safe, and there are flavour options like peanut butter or chicken, so they might even learn to enjoy it!

Buy Dental Treats and Chews

Apart from brushing their teeth, one way you can make sure your dog’s teeth stay strong and healthy is to invest in some dental treats and chews. These are made explicitly to remove any plaque build-up as your dog chews. Many contain pet dietary supplements like calcium or enzymes that promote healthy teeth.

The best news is that these come in many different flavours, sizes, and shapes, so you can find a dental aid for your dog no matter how picky they may be.

Take Them to the Dentist

Just like humans, dogs also need a dental check-up now and then! Ensure you take them to a veterinarian for regular teeth cleaning. Your vet will also take a more in-depth look into the dog’s oral health to spot any issues that may be creeping up on you and recommend any helpful changes to head them off.

Oral Health Risks for Dogs

Even if you’re doing the above, you still need to keep an eye out for any dental conditions that can derail your canine’s oral health. Below is a quick breakdown of the most common issues man’s best friend will face with their oral health.

  • Bad breath. The medical term for bad breath is halitosis, and it’s a harbinger of oncoming dental problems. Halitosis comes from the smell of decaying food in your dog’s mouth, which is progressively being eaten by harmful bacteria, and it can lead to infections or even kidney disease.
  • Periodontal disease. Just like humans, dogs can experience infections of the teeth and gums. These infections are very painful, causing swelling, difficulty chewing, and even loose teeth. You can identify early signs of PD such as yellowing teeth, swollen gums, or a reluctance in your dog to chew anything.
  • Gingivitis. Excessive plaque build-up on your dog’s teeth can lead to gingivitis, which is a swelling of the gums. If left untreated, this will lead to bleeding or gum death, so it’s essential to jump on any signs you see. The good news? All you need to do is start brushing your dog’s teeth daily to reverse the effects. However, if you notice any bleeding or changes in gum colour, talk to your vet immediately.

There you have it! That’s everything you need to know about caring for your dog’s dental health at home. The golden rule is: if you’re unsure, talk to your veterinarian. It’s their job to guide you through adequately caring for your best friend, and they can take your pet’s other medical conditions into account when giving advice.

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