How to Take Care of Your Dog’s Teeth at Home
There are many ways for our dogs to show their affection towards us. While it can come in any sort of way, one thing we mostly get from our dog is their kisses. Dogs like to lick us, as a way of their gratitude or to express their love to us. But what happens if your dog’s mouth smells bad? It would be a disturbance for both us and our dog. Dog’s bad breath is not something to be taken of lightly, because it might be a sign of dental disease. Dental disease can be a source of infection that can spread into other parts of their body, including their heart, kidney, and liver. This is why in this article we will tell you dog’s dental management, including; how do you get plaque off your dog’s teeth? How do you treat a dog with bad breath? Should you brush your dog’s teeth daily? What’s the best oral care for dogs? Remember, pain is not always obvious in cats and dogs but it doesn’t mean it isn’t present!
How Do I Get Plaque Off My Dog’s Teeth?
What is a plaque? Plaque is a layer of a mixture of bacteria and food leftovers that are present in saliva and coated at teeth. What happens if it’s not treated? This can lead to painful gum’s inflammation (gingivitis). If left undisturbed, it will form a layer called tartar, which can lead to plaque accumulation.
Plaque, gingivitis, and tartar can be a problem if they aren’t treated for a long time. They can lead to loosening of teeth and may result in broken teeth in the future.
Luckily, you can prevent them from happening by getting plaque off your dog’s teeth. Aside from dental diets food and mouth wash, you can brush your pet’s teeth. If it’s already severe, your vet might advise you to take your dog to the clinic to get dental treatment. This will be done under general anesthetic while the vet will descale their teeth (cleaning plaque and tartar).
How Do You Treat A Dog With Bad Breath?
Bad breath or halitosis might happen if there are many plaque and tartar in your dog’s teeth. To prevent this from happening, you can brush your dog’s teeth. According to Kingsway Veterinary Hospital, here’s how to brush your pet’s teeth:
- Introduce your pet to the taste of special animal toothpaste by allowing them to lick it off your finger. Make this an enjoyable experience and give them plenty of praise. Do this for 3-5 days.
- Use your finger to gently rub some toothpaste onto the outside surfaces of the teeth and gums. Start with the canines and gradually work your way to the back teeth. After a few days, you can also start to introduce a finger brush to get your pet used to having an unusual object in their mouths.
- Now you can introduce a pet toothbrush. Brush each tooth in a circular motion with the brush angled at 45 degrees (downwards for the lower jaw and upwards for the upper jaw). Make sure you brush both the tooth and gum line.
There are many types of pet toothpaste and brush on the market. If you’re unsure of which to pick, consult to your vet.
Should I Brush My Dog’s Teeth Daily?
Yes. Even if your pet has had their dental treatment at the vet clinic, you need to continue brushing their teeth at home to prevent plaque and tartar build-up again quickly.
You can set a routine for tooth brushing, either at the end of the day or after your pet’s last meal of the day.
What Is The Best Oral Care For Dogs?
The gold standard is brushing the pet’s teeth using a brush with soft bristles either once or twice daily.
Some dogs won’t let you brush their teeth, in that case, there are other products available to use. Also, note that you can also add these products to prevent dental disease (even if you can brush your pet’s teeth). Here is some example of products that can reduce tartar and plaque accumulation:
- Dental chew. These bars can be eaten and work by gently abrading your dog’s teeth when he or she chews. The Veterinary Oral Health Council discourages using any dental chew that doesn’t bend or break easily (bones, cow hooves, antlers, hard nylon products).
- Oral water can be used in your pet’s drinking water daily.
- Gels and spray.
- Dental diet food. This food is specifically designed to help your pet’s teeth.
Remember, dogs and cats can’t talk to you about their aching tooth, bad breath, or painful gum, so you might not notice them in the early stages. While your regular trip to the vet is the best way to prevent them from happening, your pet will also thank you, even if it’s just a small effort at home, such as brushing their teeth.
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