How to take care of your dog’s dental health

Just like every part of your dog’s healthcare, dental health should be a constant, and not just a problem you worry about once your pup’s breath gets unbearable.

Firstly, dog breath is never really pleasant, but if it is so bad that you cannot stand it, there is a chance your dog is suffering from oral diseases like tooth decay or periodontal disease. Other general symptoms of oral disease include: discolored teeth (yellowish brown plaque and tartar buildup), swollen and/or bleeding gums, not eating, and excessive drooling.

A healthy mouth for a dog should be free of any plaque or tartar buildup, with a moist tongue without any lumps or cuts, and with the right colored gums, which you can research according to your dog’s breed.

Moving onto how to clean your dog’s teeth, the first thing to get used to is that, ideally, your dog’s teeth should be getting brushed daily. This can sound like a difficult task, especially since most people are not aware that they should be brushing their dog’s teeth at all. However, although it may seem tedious in the short term, in the long term this will save your dog from oral diseases that will cause your dog a lot of pain and discomfort, as well as costing you money. Oral diseases start early and become very common, with around 80% of dogs over the age of three having periodontal disease.

You will have to slowly coax your dog into becoming comfortable with getting his teeth brushed, and it is important to be patient if he does not take to it immediately.

It is also important to remember that regular human toothpaste is toxic to dogs, so you must use a dog specific toothpaste.

Firstly, touch your dog’s teeth and mouth gently before brushing the teeth. Then, step by step, touch your dog’s teeth with the toothbrush, and let your dog lick some of the toothpaste. Then slowly brush your dog’s teeth, first lifting the tongue and brushing the front teeth, and then gradually moving back, making sure to get each tooth.

If you invest enough time initially, this can be a regular and short part of your routine.

Besides brushing, annual teeth cleanings at the vet can also be very beneficial to your dog’s health.

Other ways to take care of your dog’s dental health include dog dental treats and dental chew toys.

In summary, regular tooth brushing is the foundation to preventing oral diseases in dogs.

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