6. Teeth and Gums
Another weekly grooming task that must be done is to inspect and clean your dog’s teeth and gums. You must also get your veterinarian to check them once a year even if you think that there are no problems yourself.
Dental problems do not only happen to humans; dogs too have dental issues and it is up to the owners on how to help their pet dogs overcome their dental problems.
Over 70% of adult dogs require some form of dental attention or the other.
Usually this involves removing decayed teeth or medication to cure gum disease. An early warning sign of dental attention is when your dog has bad breath bad due to food particles trapped between his teeth. There are several products available that can be used to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
As a bare minimum you should have a special dog toothbrush, cotton tips, a tartar remover tool and canine toothpaste. These items are easily available at most local pet stores. It is a good idea to use them as early on in your puppy’s life as possible so that he is well used to it by adolescence. You can also buy dental chews, which clean your dog’s teeth as he chews.
Of course, cleaning your dog’s teeth does not mean you can disregard the need to maintain high levels of safety in the premises frequented by your dog. You need to make an active effort to remove tough substances such as bones, rocks, hard nylon, or cow hooves that can damage his teeth / gums and mouth. Invest in dog chewing toys that are safe instead so as to keep him from looking for things to chew.
- Do not use normal toothpaste on dogs as they can become sick if even a small amount of the fluoride, which is commonly found in toothpaste produced for human consumption, reaches their blood stream.
- Note that the modern day domestic dog often has trouble chewing real bones, as his teeth are not strong enough. Letting your dog chew on real bones can end up with the need for a trip to the vet to fix broken teeth or else to remove bone chips stuck in gums.
Clean teeth and gums are very important of the overall health of your dog. Here are some tips on the most common dental problems of dogs and different ways of treating them:
Periodontitis: This is one of the most common dental problems for canines, also known as periodontal disease. The disease is caused by various factors including plaque, food debris, cell mucus and a mixture of bacteria.
This results in the formation of a milky-white film on the dog’s teeth as well as the gums. When this film combines with saliva, the plaque it causes becomes tartar, which is very hard to remove.
Gingivitis: Gingivitis, also known as gum disease, occurs when gum tissue suffers from inflammation. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, teeth loosening and ultimately, loss of teeth.
Tooth Fractures: Tooth fractures occur when dogs chew hard substances, such as hard rocks and cow hooves or simply hard bones. The fractures result in infections inside the broken tooth, which is known as the endodontic disease.
How to Prevent Dental Problems
Your dog can fight off these dental problems by removing plaque regularly before it actually develops into tartar. The most effective way is by brushing the teeth of your dog to remove most of the bacteria in the mouth along with making your dog’s breath smell sweeter.
Additionally try to make regular check-ups of the teeth of your dog to identify any cracked or broken teeth. If you see some problematic teeth, refer to the veterinarian promptly.
Use tooth products that are made especially for dogs. Brush your pet’s teeth using dog toothpaste, which is safe enough to swallow unlike fluoridated human toothpaste that is designed to be spit out.
A finger toothbrush is a good bet if your dog is comfortable with it instead of a special dog toothbrush. Dog mouthwashes are ideal for help to kill the bacteria in your dog’s mouth and heal damaged gum tissues.
Professional Dog Teeth Cleaning
In case you don’t want to do the cleaning yourself, you could take your dog to a veterinarian and have its teeth cleaned professionally.
A good veterinarian will take additional measures to ensure your dog’s clean teeth by anesthetizing your dog, scraping the buildup of plaque from all over the gum line and adjoining areas, and polishing the teeth for a sparkling pearly finish.
Do remember to ask your vet for advice on the best dental care products for your dog.