Many loving dog owners neglect a very important part of their loved one’s health: the teeth. Dog dental problems are a leading cause of avoidable infection and discomfort in your animal, and without monitoring, you probably won’t know that your dog is in pain.
Common signs of dog teeth problems include bad breath, plaque buildup, and difficulty eating. A buildup of plaque means a proliferation of bacteria that can cause inflammation in the mouth and leads to pain while chewing and decreased appetite. Plaque can also cause gingivitis, just like in humans. Gingivitis leads to periodontal disease and tooth loss. Infection in the mouth from periodontal disease can also travel to other body organs and cause further damage to your dog’s health. The good news is that dog dental care is relatively easy, and dental problems in dogs are pretty avoidable using these 5 tips that you will not regret adopting.
Chew Toys and Healthy Dog Treats
Dog treats come in many different shapes and sizes, but you want to be sure you’re choosing the best dog treats for teeth! A great option is a strong rawhide bone. Chewing a rawhide bone helps to break down tartar buildup on the teeth; plus it’s a great way to keep your dog mentally stimulated. Use caution when buying rawhides: cooked bones can shatter in your dog’s intestine, causing major health problems requiring expensive and stressful surgery. Choose uncooked, no-flavor-added rawhides for peace of mind.
Not all of those treats lined up on the pet food shelf are made the same way, so make sure you’re researching which treats are teeth-friendly. The best dog treats for teeth are the ones you lovingly craft with care in your kitchen, of course! Peanut butter based treats are an easy and cost-effective choice to make at home.
Avoid Yeasty Human Foods
Human foods like bread, pizza crusts, and noodles can cause tartar buildup in dogs just like they can in humans. It can be difficult when your dog is gazing at you with loving eyes, but these foods are full of yeast, which easily stick in Fido’s teeth and can also cause digestion issues. The occasional meats and cheeses are fine, but too much of yeasty human foods can derail your dog dental care program.
Choose a Teeth-Healthy Food
There are so many different dog food brands out there that all promise the same thing: a long life for a healthy pup. Just like with treats, be sure to do your research on dog food. Many foods contain fillers that add nothing to your dog’s diet and actually help to speed along dental problems in dogs by promoting plaque buildup.
This may seem like an obvious tip, but even seasoned dog owners neglect it. Brushing your dog’s teeth is the greatest preventative measure you can take to prevent dog dental problems. Not only are you brushing away tartar and plaque buildup, you are strengthening the gums. Regular teeth brushing, 2-3 times a week, can also help you to spot dental problems before they become serious.
Remember Annual Dental Cleanings
Taking your dog to an annual dental cleaning at your trusted vet is a great way to remedy and avoid dog teeth problems. A veterinarian cleans your dog’s teeth far more thoroughly than you can with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Your vet can also recommend the best dog treats for teeth and the best food brands.
Most dogs over the age of 4 have some sort of dental disease. Veterinary dental cleanings may seem extravagant and unnecessary, but they exist to ensure your dog lives a happy and worry-free life.