Are You Brushing your dog’s teeth?
We’ve all been told a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans, but did you know that doggie breath and yellow teeth isn’t the only thing you need to worry about when it comes to your doggy’s dental care…
If you are like me, the idea of brushing your dog’s teeth may have sounded a bit far-out when you first heard of it.
The truth is oral hygiene when it comes to our pets has generally not been a consideration, and some have never even thought about this. Just like humans, dogs get toothaches and gum pain when they have cavities. This means that your pet may be having the pain and added stress of this situation without the owner even being aware that this is happening.
When we think of oral health care and our pets, there is more at stake than tooth-loss or pain. Bacteria can actually get into the bloodstream and as a result lead to some very serious conditions. This can affect major organs such as the heart, kidneys, or liver as well. Oftentimes in pets dental care is overlooked until a serious health issue brings it to light and in many cases owners can’t afford the vet bills and opt to have their beloved pet put down.
How common is it for dogs to have periodontal disease?
Research finds that as many as 85 percent of dogs that have passed the puppy stage of life and are 4 years of age or older experience some type of periodontal disease. This disease many times just as in humans, results not only in infections and pain, but tooth loss as well.
What can be done to prevent periodontal disease when it comes to your dog?
It is best to start an oral cleaning routine when your dog is a puppy. With that being said, it is not too late to begin at any time. Cleaning your dog’s teeth must be thought of as a regular part of their grooming. This is something that may be a bit difficult to achieve at first however over a period of time and with much patients, your dog will come to expect this each day and will not resist. Be sure to give your dog time. This will not happen overnight. Reassure your dog while getting use to the process. Offer the right type of treat that has nutritional value when the cleaning is complete if you like.
Products to help with the cleaning of dog teeth
Dogs love to chew on things. This is why they tend to love a rawhide. When selecting chew products, it is best to purchase a product that will not dissolve quickly. The longer the dog chews on the product the more is accomplish when it comes to cleaning teeth. Good choices are a natural rawhide, or knuckle-bone. These tend not to be so hard as to risk the cracking the teeth. However, it is not a good choice to give your dog hooves that many dogs so love, or hard bones from steak, or a ham.
If your dog does not like the natural rawhide and knuckle-bone there is still hope. There are many rubber and nylon chew toys available online as well as local retailers that will fit the bill. The best type of toy is one that is designed with the cleaning of teeth in mind. These toys many times have a bumpy texture that helps to scrap the tarter of teeth. Look to see if the item is vet approved as well.
If you, like many dog owners love to show your dog love by giving treats, look for treats that are designed to assist in the reduction of tarter. With this being said, it does matter what kind of dog food you give your pet. Selecting a dry dog food instead of canned is the best option. As with treats, hard dog food helps in reducing build up on teeth.
Dental hygiene products that are available for your dog are as follows:
Tooth pastefor dogs. While there are commercial products available, this is an item that is quite simple to make at home using basic kitchen pantry ingredients you likely already have on hand. Dog Toothpaste Recipe Here.
Just as a child has special toothpaste when first leaning to brush, you will need special toothpaste for your pet. Do not be tempted to use your toothpaste when brushing your dog’s teeth. Dog’s will always swallow their toothpaste. They need a product that is safe for them if swallowed. Toothpaste meant for humans contain flouride which is highly toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. In addition many also contain xylitol which even in very tiny doses can can cause hypoglycemia, seizures, liver failure and death in your pet.
The canine toothpaste is often flavored with beef, seafood or poultry tastes. This alone will greatly assist you in starting the process of daily brushing.
You can use a human tooth brush to brush your dog’s teeth. Be sure that you select a very soft one if you choose to use this type of brush. However, dog toothbrushes are availableand are shaped with a bit of an angle to conform to the dog’s mouth. If you are more comfortable with using your fingers to clean your dog’s teeth, there is a finger-tip type of dog toothbrush (pictured above) as well. It is made to slip over your finger and you can just massage your dog’s teeth as you brush. This can easy your dog’s anxiety as it may not seem as foreign as a standard brush might be.
When you first begin to introduce brushing to your dog, do not worry if you cannot get all the teeth brushed at first. It is fine to start slowly and do a section of the mouth at a time. One section can be done each day in the beginning. Also remember that doggie toothpaste taste great to your dog. This assists in gaining interest in the entire process. Place a small amount on your finger and let your dog get a small taste of what is in store for him before you begin.
As you think about starting a brushing routine with your dog, do not be apprehensive. Relax and keep a positive attitude. This over time can become a good experience for both you and your dog.[meta]