Dog Health: Oral Hygiene Tips
Taking care of our pouch's teeth is important. Find out more about dog oral health.
ALL BLOGS FOR DOG PARENTS
Easy Guide: Here's How to Take Care of your Dog's Teeth!
Did you know that you’re not the only mammal in the house that needs a dental care routine? Yes, caring for your dog's teeth is actually a big responsibility for us as dog parents. According to the Veterinary Medical Association, 80% of dogs show signs of dental problems by age three.
This is surprising to see since most dental diseases in dogs are preventable! Improper care can lead to oral diseases that cause severe pain for your pup. Though they hide pain well, there will be a change in their behaviors, and you will see them suffering.
The mouth is a gateway to the body, and taking care of your dog's teeth will help preserve its overall health.
Bonus Benefit: No more stinky dog breath!
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about doggie dental care.
Care for Healthy Teeth
Before we discuss how to ensure your dog’s dental wellbeing, let’s discuss some facts:
First up are the number of teeth you can expect to find in dogs of different ages:
· Newborn dogs: they don’t have any teeth.
· 3 to 6 weeks: puppy teeth (they lose these later on) start showing up.
· 12 to 16 weeks: the teething phase. All 28 puppy teeth have grown out, and some may already have started falling to be replaced by adult teeth. Pups will have an urge to chew on stuff.
· 8 months: all 42 teeth that all adult dogs have should be out by now.
How to Check a Dog’s Oral Health
A simple dog dental health check up includes sniffing your pup’s breath. You don’t need to find a gush of roses in its mouth since normal dog-breath isn’t the most refreshing, but make sure that it isn’t overly putrid.
Check teeth for the presence of plaque and tartar. Make sure that there aren't any broken or chipped teeth. As far as the tongue goes, it should be fairly moist and not have any cuts or bumps. Most doggies should have pink gums, but some may naturally have a black and pink mix or black gums.
Dog Dental Hygiene Routine
When it comes to caring for their teeth, dogs are heavily reliant on us. A pup won’t be able to maintain a healthy mouth without our help.
Here is the proper way to care for a dog’s dental hygiene.
You should brush your dog’s teeth daily or at least every other day to achieve the best results possible. This is because new plaque formations take around 48 to 72 hours before they harden and calcify to the point where they can’t be brushed away.
Our DhohOo team recommends that you methodically use the toothbrush to specifically remove food, bacteria, and plaque from between and behind your pup's teeth.
As with humans, the secret to maintaining excellent dog oral health is to reach between the teeth with your brush. Always use bacteria-killing enzymic toothpaste for your dog.
Tip: Remember to give a lot of rewards (toys, rewarding words, play-time etc.) for good behavior while brushing!
As far as professional veterinary dental cleanings go, they should be done once a year for healthy dogs. A vet will first perform an oral exam on your dog and recommend whatever dental procedures are needed.
A dog with no other dental problems will usually receive a scaling treatment to remove tartar and plaque. The process will also involve full mouth dental charts and intraoral radiographs for an accurate diagnosis. During a dental cleaning, your dog will be put under general anesthesia while the vet uses sub- and supragingival scaling to clean below and above the gums.
Signs of Oral Problems
Dental disease occurs in dogs in the same way as it does in humans. Plaque and tartar buildup due to poor care and their mouth becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
This causes issues like gingivitis (gum disease) and other problems that can lead to tooth loss or other health problems.
The first and most obvious sign of poor oral health in dogs is rancid breath. This condition is known as halitosis and is often a symptom of gum disease. However, it may also be caused by naughty doggie activities, like eating from the garbage.
Red or inflamed gums are also a telltale sign that something is wrong with your dog’s teeth. It often occurs in advanced stages of gum disease and requires immediate professional attention.
Your dog may also face a loss of appetite, and you might notice them not be excited for mealtimes as much anymore. All sorts of problems can cause issues with eating, so contact your vet for a correct diagnosis. When accompanied by painful lumps, bleeding in and around the mouth can be a sign of oral tumors like epulis. An immediate vet visit is needed to check if it is malignant.
· Start brushing your pup's teeth as soon as they grow. The goal here is to get them used to the procedure so that they don't make it hard for you once they grow up.
· Kibble foods are better than wet food when it comes to dental health. They involve more chewing and prevent buildup. This is no substitute for a good dog dental care routine, though.
· Pay extra attention to your dog’s gum line when brushing. This is the most vulnerable area.
Following the tips mentioned in this dog dental care guide will help you make sure you can give your dog a pain-free and healthy life. Always remember that no other dental products and procedures can replace good ol’ brushing.