We often think of our dogs as members of our family. We try to give them the best care that we can. However, how much do we know about the oral health needs of our dogs?
Dental care for dogs is more important than you think. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, affects 50 percent of dogs, making it the most common canine disease. Gum disease has been linked to a multitude of other health issues in dogs.
In order to keep your dog happy and healthy, it is imperative that you take preventive measures to ensure peak oral care for your dog.
Keep reading to find out how you can care for your dog's dental hygiene!
Why Dental Health Is Important for Dogs
Just like in humans, dental health in dogs can be a great indicator of overall health.
When bacteria enter the bloodstream through a dog's mouth, it can cause damage to the heart and other organs, possibly causing heart disease. Signs of gum disease can show up before a dog reaches three.
Poor dental care can also cause your dog a lot of pain. With eroded gums, broken teeth, and the inability to enjoy eating, your dog can suffer without the proper care.
It is important to create a plan to maintain your dog's dental health. You can take preventative measures at home, ensure you make annual visits with your veterinarian, and consider if your pet's food may affect oral health.
How Poor Dental Care Can Affect Your Dog
There are several ways that your dog's health can be impacted by neglecting their dental care. These issues start early on and it's important to take preventative measures to avoid further health issues.
As a result of poor dental hygiene, your dog can develop:
- Bad breath
- Tooth decay
- Chronic pain
- Oral and bodily inflammation
These are just some of the ways in which your dog's health can be negatively affected from neglected oral care. Some conditions left untreated can have an impact on the future of your dog's health beyond their dental hygiene.
Signs and Symptoms That Your Dog's Teeth Need Attention
A veterinarian should check your dog's teeth at least once a year.
There are signs and symptoms to look out for when you personally inspect your dog's mouth:
- Bad breath or mouth odor
- Extra teeth and discolored teeth
- Teeth covered in plaque or tartar
- Loose or broken teeth
- Swelling or bleeding in the mouth
- No appetite or abnormal chewing
Refusal to eat, reduced appetite, and bad breath can mean periodontal disease for your dog. Ensure that you watch out for these signs and symptoms and contact your veterinarian.
How to Maintain Your Dog's Dental Health
We now know why dental care is so important for dogs. But you might be wondering, what is the best dental care for dogs?
Here are some ways that you can help regularly maintain your dog's dental health:
Brush Your Dog's Teeth
As far as cheap dental care for dogs, brushing your dog's teeth is at the top of the list. You can do it yourself, and you can do it anytime.
Start by training your dog to get comfortable with you examining their teeth and the inside of their mouth. Create a ritual around it and try to do it regularly - after one of their meals for example.
It is important to note that you cannot use regular toothpaste. You will need special toothpaste that is designed for dogs and is flavored to make the experience easier for you and your pup. You can also try a fresh dental total care kit for dogs.
This is a great way to prevent the buildup of plaque on your dog's teeth. This also gives you an opportunity to check for other signs and symptoms of problems.
Diet and Dental Health
Some dog foods use ingredients that promote dental health by preventing tartar formation. Specific fibre structures can help "scrub" the teeth, reducing the time between dental cleanings.
Try Dog Teeth Cleaning Toys
Did you know even toys can help clean your dog's teeth? Some toys help improve dental health by encouraging crunching and chewing, and what dog doesn't love that? Keep an eye out for products specifically designed for dental health and approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).
Have Your Dog's Teeth Professionally Cleaned
If you want to optimize your dog's dental health, you can have your dog's teeth professionally cleaned.
A veterinarian will know the best way to give your dog's teeth the ultimate care and will be able to advise you on what you can do at home. They can prevent and treat issues that might go unnoticed.
Though this may be a more expensive option, it might save you money in the long run as you can avoid other health issues that can come out of poor dental care.
You may be wondering where you can find affordable dental care for dogs. Ensure that you do your research and visit a trusted veterinarian.
Dental Care for Dogs Shouldn't Be Ruff
We all want the very best for our dogs, and that includes the best dental hygiene. Dental care for dogs is preventative and should be taken seriously. Ensure that you create a cleaning routine at home by brushing your dog's teeth, providing nutritious food for total body health, and visiting your veterinarian at least once a year.
If you want to give your dog the very best, check out our website for the best dog food recipes and more!