Just like us, our dogs require routine dental care. Unfortunately, this factor is all too often overlooked. Many owners have the misconception that bad breath is normal and even more people rarely brush their pet’s pearly whites.
Plaque accumulates on the teeth and turns into tartar, also known as calculus. These issues lead to the build-up of bacteria that eat away at the teeth and gums. Common problems such as pain, halitosis and periodontal disease quickly follow. Even worse is that the bacteria can negatively affect other areas such as the heart and kidneys.
Along with exercise, nutrition and grooming, proper dental hygiene is essential to your canine companion’s overall wellness. There are several ways to take better care of their teeth. Here’s what you need to know.
Preparing in Advance
Catching and treating problems in their early stages will help to stave off more serious diseases. The simplest solution is to check your pup’s teeth on a regular basis and be aware of any causes for concern. Taking your dog for routine examinations at the vet is a good idea. Look out for the following signs:
- Bad breath
- Increased drooling
- Pain when chewing
- Missing or loose teeth
- Puffy or bleeding gums
- Brown and yellow stains on teeth
Also, make sure to invest in:
- A toothbrush made for dogs
- Dental chews
- Dental water additives
The Importance of Diet
We know not to consume excessive amounts of sugar and that certain drinks can stain our teeth. Similar factors apply to what your dog eats. Not only does a healthy diet improve their dental health, but it also has significant effects on their weight, skin, fur, energy levels and likelihood of developing diseases such as arthritis, pancreatitis and diabetes.
The reality is that processed kibble is usually loaded with sugars, rancid fats and other nasty ingredients. A diet of raw, natural ingredients is the way forward. Raw dog food for beginners guides can be found online. For example, Bella and Duke offer a detailed look into Raw dog food for beginners on their site.
Be sure to check out their store at the same time. The UK company provides highly-quality raw meals that are tailored to your pet’s individual needs and will ship them to your door for free.
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
Regular brushing is the foremost preventative measure for canine oral hygiene. It’s most effective when performed on a daily basis. Starting when your dog is still a puppy will help them get used to the feeling. Dogs typically finish developing their puppy teeth at around eight weeks of age and their adult teeth will come in at approximately six months.
There are toothbrushes available with specific features that make them suitable for canines. Some come in the form of small finger caps that you rub over the surface of their teeth. That said, any soft and small-bristled brush does the trick.
If brushing proves to be difficult, consider using special dental chews and/or ingredients that you can add to your pet’s food and water. Not all products are made equal, so be sure to do some research or ask your vet for advice.