Paying attention to your dog’s teeth can help you avoid future vet bills while giving your pup a healthier life. You probably already know the basics of canine dental care – brushing your dog’s teeth at least a few times weekly and removing tartar buildup.
Just like for humans, taking the time to brush your canine’s teeth is the best way to prevent future dental problems. There are also a few more things to keep in mind when seeking to improve the strength and longevity of your best friend’s chompers.
Brushing your dog’s teeth daily is the proven way to prevent tooth decay, but equally important is how you’re brushing them. According to PetMD, the right way to brush your dog’s teeth is at a 45-degree angle from the outside with a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs. The inside of the teeth are well-maintained by your dog’s tongue, so you don’t need to be overly-concerned about brushing that side. Scrub the teeth in tiny circles covering each tooth one by one. Before long, this technique will become second nature to you and, hopefully, your pup.
Talking to your vet about a “dental diet” can also be a good option to aid in fighting tartar, plaque and bacteria. Some brands offer special dental foods that can scrub off tarter or keep plaque soft so it doesn’t harden.
Water additives are another way to supplement your canine’s teeth treatment plan. There are products that act as a mouthwash to reduce plaque and tartar. The best part is you don’t have to struggle with your pup to swish and spit! There are a slew of other product which can promote better dental health in your pup. In addition to dry food and water additives, look for chews that offer the same benefits.
Keeping your dog from tennis balls can prevent wear and tear on teeth. The surface on tennis balls act as a grinding agent that wear teeth down. To keep them strong, provide healthy vegetables like carrots, bok choy, broccoli, and celery stalks, alternatively with hard, rubber balls. Your dog may need some level of excitement on your part to accept the fresh produce as a chew object. You may also find that putting a little peanut butter on them initially and then weaning off the bribing “schmears” with time may help your dog to accept plain fruits and veggies before too long.
Being aware of various oral disorder symptoms can help your pup steer clear of tooth pain. Decayed teeth can occur from neglected oral hygiene as well as a condition called canine distemper teeth. This condition can occur in dogs that had distemper as a puppy. Decaying teeth should be removed by a veterinarian. Periodontal disease can be spotted by loose teeth, sneezing, nasal fluid, and bad breath.
Dogs rarely show pain, so it’s up to the owner to identify when something is wrong. If your dog’s tooth is in pain, your pup may not tolerate you touching its mouth or nose. Other signs of oral pain include sneezing and nasal drip, the same signs warranting a possible case of periodontal disease.
Incorporate these tips and your companion will be rewarded with a lifetime of increased health and happiness – and you can be sure your pup will return the favor. For more on fresh breath and healthy chompers for your dog, you’ll enjoy our in-depth article, How to Care For Your Dog’s Teeth.