Dogs are not immune to dental problems. Like us, as they grow older, they are prone to gum disease and tooth decay. Unfortunately, unlike us, they can’t complain about this discomfort. The majority of older dogs suffer from some degree of periodontal disease. Owners are often oblivious to the state of their dog’s teeth until the animal stops eating. By the time this happens, gum disease is at an advanced stage and expensive to treat.
To prevent your dog’s teeth from deteriorating to the point where they begin falling out, it is a good idea to start taking care of his teeth, regardless of age. The below tips can be implemented from a young age.
In an ideal world, we would brush our pet’s teeth once a day, in much the same way as we brush our own teeth. However, unless you have bags of spare time and a lot of love for your dog, this is not going to happen.
You can buy doggy toothpaste and if you have time, brushing his teeth once a week will help to reduce plaque and tarter in his mouth. Since plaque accumulating along the gum line is a major cause of inflammation and tooth decay, regular brushing is a good idea. If your dog won’t accept a toothpaste in his mouth (and plenty won’t), wrap a piece of gauze around your finger and use this to rub his teeth.
Persevere and only do a few teeth at a time. It may take a while before he feels comfortable, but eventually, you should have no problem cleaning all of his teeth in one sitting.
A poor diet will contribute to poor oral hygiene, so don’t feed your dog biscuits and sugary snacks. Carefully chosen snacks, on the other hand, will help to clear plaque and tartar and promote healthy teeth.
Dental chews for dogs are a great way to clean canine teeth. Dogs love chews so your furry friend will be delighted if you give him a tasty dental chew after he’s eaten his lunch. Dried meat treats such as pig’s ears are also good for a dog’s teeth.
Fruit and Veg Treats
Some dogs love fruit and vegetables while others would only consider eating meat or that week-old rabbit down the road. If your mutt isn’t fussy, it is good to give him carrots or apples. Small amounts will encourage him to chew, which helps to clean his teeth.
Dogs like to play with toys. Nylon or rubber chew toys are excellent for oral health, as the chewing action scrapes scraps of food away from the dog’s teeth.
Signs of Tooth Decay
If you follow the tips above, your dog’s teeth should remain reasonably healthy. However, if he has bad breath, starts drooling, seems in discomfort when he eats or goes off his food, have him checked out by a vet. Your veterinarian can give his teeth a deep clean under anesthetic, and if necessary, extract any rotten teeth.