It’s true. Dental hygiene does not get near enough attention when it comes to our dogs. Meanwhile, their teeth and gums play a huge part in their overall health.
So, why is it important to take care of your dog's teeth?
Dental care is not just about clean white teeth or even just fresh breath. Poor dental hygiene can lead to numerous health problems. Dogs teeth who do not get the needed care or attention can end up with severe Periodontal disease. When this disease is not treated, the bacteria could then get into your dog's bloodstream, their lungs, kidneys and even the heart.
What can you do to prevent dental disease in your dog?
A good start is to get into the habit of brushing your dog's teeth daily. If your dog doesn’t seem to like that idea – start slow. Take baby steps. Once a week brush a few teeth at a time. Work your way up week by week until you can do a full brush. Always let your dog become familiar with the toothbrush. Achieve this by allowing him to smell it before you attempt to brush. Don’t force him. By staying consistent, and providing a routine, your dog will soon settle into having his teeth cleaned daily.
Other ways to keep your dog's teeth clean include:
- Dental Chews
- Naturally shed deer antlers
- Apple slices
- Rubber dog toys specifically designed for dogs teeth
- Feed dry dog food
What to watch out for:
- Bad breath
- drooling (more than usual)
- discoloring along the gum line
- yellow teeth
- red or swollen gums
- a change in how your dog has been eating
If you notice your dog experiencing any of the above mentioned, it is time for a vet check. It is very important to keep a close eye on your dog's mouth. Not only can it save you tons of money by having less vet visits, but it can potentially lengthen your dog's life by a great deal. And hey, on the plus side, taking good care of your dog's teeth can even help prevent that yucky dog breath when our 4 legged friends lay those wet sloppy kisses on our face in the early hours of the morning. Who likes morning breath anyways? Not me!