Having a healthy mouth is essential for the overall health of your pet. This is especially true when it comes to dogs, since they don’t brush their teeth like humans do. Proper dental care is crucial in keeping your dog’s teeth in top condition and free from infection, decay and gum disease.
Dog dental care has been found to be one of the most neglected aspects of pet health. According to grandview research, the dog dental health market in North America has grown substantially over the years that is why responsible dog breeders in Illinois go the extra mile not only to spread awareness but also save a lot of pet owners from unnecessary headaches. Unfortunately, many dog owners don’t realise just how important it is to provide their furry friends with regular oral hygiene. Without proper dental care, your pup could suffer from serious health issues caused by bacteria and other germs that can collect in the mouth.
Why Is Dog Dental Care Important?
To understand why regular dental check-ups are so important for dogs, it helps to know a bit about canine anatomy. Dogs have 42 permanent teeth that can easily accumulate plaque and tartar if not cleaned regularly. Plaque forms when food particles mix with saliva and bacteria on the surface of the teeth; if left unchecked, it can harden into tartar, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Gum disease is one of the most common yet preventable conditions seen in pets today. It occurs when bacteria enters through cracks or pockets in between teeth and gums, causing inflammation and infection that leads to pain, discomfort and even eventual tooth loss if left untreated. Dogs with poor dental hygiene can often become moody or even poorly-behaved due to the discomfort they feel.
In addition to pain associated with gum disease, there are other serious issues that can result from poor dental hygiene. In the worst-case scenario, your dog may even experience heart problems caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream due to poor oral health.
How to Properly Care for Your Dog’s Teeth
Fortunately, taking care of your pup’s chompers isn’t too difficult – all you need is a bit of knowledge about proper dog dental care practices and some patience.
Brush your dog’s teeth regularly
Brushing your dog’s teeth is the most effective way to remove plaque buildup and prevent dental disease. Use a toothbrush specifically designed for dogs, along with toothpaste that is specifically formulated for canine use. You should never use human toothpaste, as it can contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs.
Start by introducing your dog to the toothbrush and toothpaste slowly and in small increments. Let them lick the toothpaste off the brush, then slowly begin brushing their teeth once they’re comfortable. When you begin brushing, be sure to use gentle pressure and move the brush in circular motions over each tooth and along the gum line. Do this at least two times a week (preferably every day).
Give your dog chew toys or treats that help clean their teeth
Chewing on hard toys or treats helps to naturally scrape away plaque and food particles from your dog’s teeth. Look for products that are specifically made for cleaning canine teeth, such as rawhide chews, bully sticks or dental chews.
Feed them a diet that promotes oral health
Provide your pup with high-quality dry dog food that contains crunchy kibble pieces which can help break down plaque buildup. While wet or canned dog food is also fine for most dogs, it simply doesn’t scrape away sticky plaque deposits on teeth anywhere as well as dry food.
You can consult with your veterinarian about the best options for your dog, depending on their current dental health. Dry food isn’t always as appealing to dogs as wet food, so you may have to alternate what you give your dog on a regular basis.
Visit the vet regularly for checkups and professional cleanings
Even if you are diligent about brushing and providing proper nutrition to your dog at home, it is still important to bring them in for regular vet visits where they can get professional cleanings done under anaesthesia (since most pups will not tolerate having their teeth cleaned while awake).
These visits also give veterinarians a chance to check on other aspects of your pet’s health, so don’t skip out on these appointments. At the end of the day, taking good care of your dog’s pearly whites should be a priority for all dog owners – after all, our furry friends are counting on us to make sure that they’re happy and healthy throughout their entire lives.