Our Advice to Keep Your Dog’s Smile Clean
When was the last time you took note your pup’s dental hygiene? Well February is Pet Dental Health Month! The good news for dogs is they’re not as prone to cavities as humans. But despite the old conventional wisdom that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, dogs can still develop problems like tartar and plaque buildup and gingivitis.
It’s not just bad breath and yellow teeth you have to worry about; canine dental problems can actually lead to life-threatening infections and issues including heart, liver, and kidney disease. Here’s how to practice good dog dental care to keep your dog smiling!
Your toothbrush won’t do the trick here. We must use a canine toothbrush and a little strategy. The best brush to use is double-headed with brushes at a 45 degree angle to clean below the gumline.
Your dog might not like the tooth brushing at first, but hopefully, you can make it a decent experience for both of you. Brush after your dog has had a exercise, so he’s more inclined to sit still. Start slowly and quit if your dog gets agitated.
You can increase the time each time until they are used to it. Speak soothingly during the brushing and reward your dog with a treat afterwards, so they may start looking forward to the event. Never use regular human toothpaste for your dog, as most include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs.
Food and Chews
Crunchy kibble is better for your dog’s teeth than soft food, as soft food is more likely to stick to the teeth and cause decay. There are many synthetic bones and chew toys specially designed to strengthen dog’s gums and teeth. Keep in mind hard objects can cause broken teeth.
Giving your dog a good bone to chew on can help get rid of build up and keep teeth strong, but imagine a human who only chews gum and uses mouth rinse. That’s not an effective means of ensuring good dental hygiene and overall health. The same is true for your dog.
Check the inside of your dog’s mouth every week or so. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet:
- Change in eating/chewing habits
- Pawing at the mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Discolored, broken, or missing teeth
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
- Bumps or growths within the mouth
Even with healthy teeth, your dog should be checked by a professional every six to twelve months. Proper maintenance can be a money saver in the long run and even a lifesaver. Letting it go can lead to costly and often painful vet visits. Some dogs become aggressive when getting their teeth and gums cleaned, so be sure to secure a dog bite policy before anyone messes with your dog’s mouth.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.