Statistics have it that 95 percent of canine owners do not particularly pay attention to their dog’s dental health. The numbers are alarming, but what is more alarming is if you choose to be part of the growing number of owners who think their pet’s teeth aren’t worth the attention or are less important than obedience training and making sure they’re fed well.
But the thing about caring less about their dental health is that it puts your pet at risk of developing periodontal disease as early as three years old. The early signs include bad breath, which most owners often overlook, thinking it is normal for dogs to have bad breath. While their breath couldn’t be as fresh as yours, it should not smell like rotten fruit either.
Periodontal disease can also lead to much more serious conditions. For one, it can cause tooth loss and, according to American Kennel Club, can lead to painful abscesses and systemic infections throughout your canine’s entire body.
This is why it is very important that you pay attention to your dog’s dental health as much as you take the time to train them. Here’s how you can keep your teeth clean and healthy:
How to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean and Healthy
1. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly.
Toothbrushing isn’t just for humans; your canine friends need it too. It is how you prevent plaque buildup. Brushing daily is not necessary, but the more you do it, the better.
Some dogs actually hate brushing, to the point that they run at the sight of a toothbrush. But if you train them to get used to it, they will ease up to it eventually.
There are things to consider before brushing your dog’s teeth. First is the brush that you will be using. Find one that is designed for pets. Avoid using brushes that are made for humans. Second is the toothpaste. Use toothpastes that are created for dogs. These often come in different flavors that they will surely love. Human toothpastes contain elements that are toxic to dogs, so it is not recommended that you use it for them. Last is the frequency. Again, brushing daily is not necessary, but make sure to do it as often as you can.
2. Use natural dental sprays.
If your dog isn’t fond of brushing and still hates it even after much convincing, then dental sprays are a good alternative. If you manage to spray directly onto the affected teeth, this can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Dental sprays also give your dog that minty fresh breath that you want for them.
3. Give them dental chew toys.
The act of chewing itself can help improve your dog’s dental health. So give them a few dog chews. Chew toys have teeth-cleansing properties that help remove plaque off your dog’s teeth. Some toys that are made from meat contain enzymes that help with dental health. It is important to remember, though, that your dog should be supervised as they play with chew toys to make sure they don’t swallow large pieces.
4. Have them undergo professional cleaning.
While you can more conveniently deal with your dog’s dental health all by yourself and at home by just brushing and giving them dog chews, it still pays to get your dog some professional help. Your veterinarian knows where to look, what issues to look for, and how to treat them properly. Yes, it is expensive, but you will get your money’s worth as you are giving your dog the best kind of help they can get. When it comes to pets, vets always know best, more than a keen-eyed owner.