Hello everyone! And welcome back to my blog, thedoggyperspective.com. In today’s blog I am addressing the topic of fresh breath and oral healthcare for your dog. This is just as important for your dog as it is for you! Please don’t take this lightly. Your dog is also subject to tartar, plaque, bacterial infections, swollen gums, and tooth loss. So what can we do to help our furry friend stay healthy with a dazzling smile enduring their entire lifetime? Let’s chat…
Do You Believe It?
Believe it or not, taking care of your dog’s teeth is as important as taking care of your own. According to an article that I read at the American Animal Hospital Association, nearly two-thirds of dog owners do not provide the veterinarian recommended guideline for dog dental care. Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in adult dogs and then, most dogs have some form of the disease by the time that they turn 3 years old.
So, just like us, dogs can experience plaque build-up if we don’t take the proper care of their teefers. This build-up turns into tartar, which then accumulates around the gum lines and causes your dog irritation. And then, this tartar stuff can eventually lead to gum inflammation (formally known as gingivitis), to bone/soft tissue loss, and to gum disease. Now, bacterial infection can also lead to tooth loss and complications of the heart, lung, or kidney as your dog ages. Gracious! The good news is that, with regular dental care, these diseases are preventable.
How Do You Do It?
Learn how to brush your dog’s teeth. Please.
The gold standard for dog oral care at home is brushing. Here are some tips for getting started:
- Get your dog used to the idea of having his teeth brushed. Keep the sessions short and positive. Dip your finger in beef bouillon and massage his lips in a circular motion for 30 to 60 seconds once or twice a day for a few weeks, and then move on to the teeth and gums.
- Wrap your finger in gauze or place a toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth and clean in small, circular motions, lifting your dog’s lip if necessary. Because the side of the tooth that touches the cheek contains the most tartar, concentrate there.
- When you’re almost finished, brush vertically toward the inside of the mouth to clear any plaque you’ve dislodged.
- Because the side of the tooth that touches the cheek contains the most tartar, concentrate on there.
- And when you’re almost finished, go ahead and brush vertically toward the inside of the mouth to clear off any plaque you’ve dislodged.
- Use a brush designed especially for dogs [try Vetoquinol and/or Pet Republique] ; it’s smaller than a human toothbrush and has softer bristles. Toothbrushes that you can wear over your finger are also available [Pet Republique].
- Use toothpaste designed for dogs [for us, the enzymatic toothpaste works best. It just works harder and the stuff polishes off the dog’s teeth much much faster. Also, Sophia accepts the Chicken flavored toothpaste. She doesn’t fight it at all, ever] ; using your own toothpaste can cause distress and upset your dog’s stomach [minty flavors + mouthwashes don’t work out … I am just saying].
Try To Get Regular At It, Okay?
Consistency is key. You should be aiming to brush your dog’s teeth at least 2 to 3 times a week. Once a day brushing is ideal. Just do the best you can. This takes time. And you may be working multiple jobs plus handling the house and family alone. Daily toothbrushing might be a bit much for you. I don’t want you get started with this and then fall off the bandwagon. Take your time, and get it into your routine so you stay regular.
The better you are at keeping a regular routine, the easier it is going to be on your dog and it’ll be more likely he’ll start to responding positively to you brushing at his teeth. And plus, this will also help you to remember to keep his teeth clean and healthy as you start committing to a regular cycle.
What Signs To Check For
In Between the vet visits, please check your dog out for these very important warning signs.
- He’s got bad breath: Dogs can have bad breath for a variety of health reasons, including dental disease
- He has swollen and/or bleeding gums
- He has difficulty eating
- He’s got yellow and brown tartar deposits on the gum line
- He drools excessively
If you notice any of these warning signs in your dog, go make an appointment with your vet. Your vet may recommend a professional dental cleaning, which begins with the blood work to determine if your dog is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia [let’s hope so]. If he is, then your vet will administer the anesthesia to him and then begin a comprehensive cleaning. This includes:
- A complete oral exam and x-rays to identify problems under the gum line
- A full cleaning under the gum line to prevent periodontal disease
- Professional scaling to remove plaque and tartar build-up on the crown
- Polishing the teeth to prevent plaque and bacteria
Specifically formulated dental dog foods and treats can slow the formation of tartar and avoid the onset of dental disease. thedoggyperspective.com prefers Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition, Grilled Steak & Flavor dog food. Because the FOOD provides precisely balanced nutrition along with scrubbing teeth, freshening breath, and reducing plaque, tartar, and stain build up. This is an option to consider for smaller dogs. It offers nutrition for your dog’s teeth and is available in small bites.
From Our Table
Time For A Walk
I can’t lie to you, folks. Today is a tough day. Managing my sleeping time and two careers is catching up to me. Only the oath I took to cherish my dog, is holding me up right now. I re-read the oath every year, outloud to Sophia on the day we were announced Girl and Girl’s Best Friend. And I throw in a specially designed prayer to keep me honest. I do not have what it takes today soooooo … the dog park it is. Today, I appreciate the manicured lawns and fenced in areas immensely. I have brought my tablet along with us, and I settle in at the picnic table to get more blogging in. The geese are about but they don’t bother us. You know how they draw near to see if you’ll toss bread? They must’ve eaten already. Sophia is off to the races over there at the fence. And guess what? She cares nothing for the mudd puddles left by previous doggies. Despite her pristine white fur, she goes running full speed through the darn dog park grime! Sigh … there will be no immediate return to the sanctity of home, but rather, a detour to the dogwash first. Whoever thought of combining the carwash with the dogwash deserves a gold medal. Me? Paw prints everywhere! I’ll have to shower and change clothes to recover from this one. :)????
Thanks for stopping by.