Author: Janine DeVault
Dogs are prone to all kinds of dental issues, from tooth decay to gum disease, and beyond. These issues can be very painful and have serious complications that affect your dog’s comfort and lifestyle. With this in mind, your dog’s dental health should be top of mind.
Below we’ll take a look at the top reasons why you need to stay on top of your dog’s oral hygiene and we’ll offer some simple tips you can use to keep their teeth clean and healthy.
1. Periodontal disease is very serious
Periodontal disease is a dental problem that occurs due to excessive plaque and tartar buildup on a dog’s teeth. Over time, this illness erodes the structure of a dog’s teeth, gums, and underlying bone. Symptoms and side effects of the disease include bad breath, oral discharge, bleeding gums, cracked teeth, tooth loss, infection, and many more painful complications.
Keeping your dog’s teeth clean and free of build-up is the best way to prevent periodontal disease.
2. Good dental health prevents tooth loss
Dogs suffer from tooth decay just like humans do. If teeth experience too much build-up due to a poor diet and poor oral hygiene, they can decay and break. Tooth decay can make it incredibly painful for dogs to eat, leading to weight loss and malnutrition. It can also result in infection which creates additional health complications for a dog such as disease of the kidneys, liver, or heart.
To prevent further complications, rotten teeth are typically removed. While tooth extraction solves some problems, it can create new ones, namely difficult eating.
3. It keeps your dog’s breath fresh
Ensuring your dog’s teeth are clean and healthy also keeps their breath nice and fresh, making puppy kisses much more enjoyable. Bad breath can be a sign of tooth decay, build-up, or periodontal disease.
So, create a regular dental hygiene routine for your dog and follow it closely to keep their smile sparkly and their breath fresh.
4. Dental problems can be painful
Dental problems can have serious, long lasting complications such as tooth loss, infection, and disease. They can also be extremely painful.
Dogs are usually very stoic so it can be tough to detect, but if you’ve ever had a toothache you know that they are no joke. Save your pup from the agony of tooth pain by keeping their teeth and gums clean and free of build-up.
5. Dental problems can be very expensive
Dental problems can be very costly to treat. Tooth extraction can cost over $500 per tooth. Even a dental cleaning for your dog can cost $500 to $1000 depending on the veterinarian. With this in mind, prevention is the best option all around.
Take a proactive approach to your dog’s dental health to unvoid unnecessary pain, suffering, and expenses.
How to care for your dog’s teeth
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to promote good dental hygiene and keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy.
When dogs chew they secrete saliva which contains natural antibacterial properties that help keep their teeth and gums clean. Additionally, the right chews work to scrape plaque and tartar off of a dog’s teeth as they chew — Natural Farm’s bully sticks are an excellent example of this!
Bully springs are another chew that will help scrape plaque in hard to reach places due to its spiral shape.
Brush your dog’s teeth
It’s not a fun task, but brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is a fantastic way to keep them free of plaque and build-up. The VCA recommends brushing a minimum of three times weekly to keep plaque and tartar under control. Make sure you select a dog-friendly toothpaste as human products may contain harmful ingredients.
Schedule annual dental checkups
By scheduling regular dental checkups you can catch any signs of tooth decay or periodontal disease in your dog before the issue becomes too serious. Depending on your dog’s oral hygiene, regular teeth cleaning may be in order.
Consider a dental diet
If your dog is already experiencing signs of tooth decay there may be a certain type of food that can help slow it down. Some dog foods are specifically formulated to support good oral hygiene. Speak to your veterinarian about whether changing your dog’s diet could be helpful.