A healthy dog is a dog with a white smile!
Keeping your dogs teeth clean is a very essential part of maintaining good health for your furry friend.
Just like it is important for us to keep our teeth clean and healthy, so is it for you pets.
Pets can exhibit the same periodontal disease as does the human if the teeth are not properly maintained and cleaned regularly.
This is an area that I personally have struggled with in my parenting of my three dogs.
That is why we will discuss the importance of cleaning you dog teeth, how to go about doing it without getting bit, natural ways to dog teeth cleaning, and what is the cost if you don’t provide good dental hygiene for your dog.
Why Dog Teeth Cleaning is Important
It is estimated today that about 80% of all dogs above the age of 3 have some form of dental disease. That is a staggering statistic.
Periodontal diseases with your dog can lead to more serious health issues if not treated. This can lead to teeth loss, infection, and painful abscesses that will need to be treated professionally.
If not treated it can lead to permanent jaw damage and even heart disease (just like in humans).
One of the early signs of periodontal disease is “Bad Breath”.
This is often dismissed by the pet’s owner because they usually relate bad breath to something the dog might have just ate, but prolong bad breath is a leading indicator to a more serious problem.
When bacteria turns into plaque, it sticks to the tooth and that is the beginning of dental disease in your dog’s mouth.
The saliva produces minerals that harden into tartar and this spreads under the gum line.
Once this happens, bacteria will secrete toxins and the tissue develop damage.
When this happens, the immune system for your dog sees this as a foreign intruder and the system starts to react. Imfamatory chemicals move in and damage the tissues of the tooth. This is just compounded as your dog’s immune system makes the disease worse.
Smaller breeds, such as my Pomeranian, are more prone to dental diseases due to the closeness of their teeth and they are usually harder to maintain by brushing. Plaque will find easy hiding places in the smaller mouth and closer teeth.
How do I Keep My Dog’s Teeth Clean
Brushing your dogs teeth:
Brushing your dogs teeth is one of the best ways to prevent plaque buildup thus preventing dental disease. You will find that most dogs are not fond to the tooth brush and the action of brushing.
The earlier you start (puppy stage) the easier it is for the adult dog, however, the adult dog will more than likely take to the brushing if you stay consistent with this practice.
Please do not use human toothpaste on your dog as they contain ingredients that are toxic to your dog. You can find tooth paste formulated for dogs at most pet stores and they are usually flavored to suit the dogs taste.
The main methods of brushing are the use of a canine tooth brush or a finger brush. Your Vet can help you in making this decision of which instrument is best for your dog.
Dog Tooth Wipes:
If you are unable to use a canine tooth brush or finger brush, then dental wipes maybe be a good alternative for you dog teeth cleaning. Tooth wipes are made to be rubbed against your dog’s teeth to help remove plaque.
However, these wipes are not able to get to the nooks and crannies that a brush can reach, so the overall effectiveness may not be as good. But anything is better than nothing when it comes to the health of your dog.
Dog Dental Treats:
I haven’t met a dog yet that doesn’t like treats. Dental treats can be very effective to hep improve you dog’s dental health. Your dog will appreciate them and they generally do a good job in keeping the teeth clean and fresh.
These treats come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors, and you are sure to find something your dog loves.
The downside is that they may not be effective against hardened plaque.
Dog teeth cleaning chews come in hundreds of forms and most of them have effective teeth cleaning properties. The act of chewing is very natural for your dog and it can have very good dental health benefits.
The gnawing scrapes plaque off your dog’s teeth and many all-natural treats made from meat contain enzymes that help promote dental health.
Chews like cow ears, bully sticks, and chicken strips are all great ways to keep your dog happy and healthy.
Professional Cleanings by your Vet:
As for the human’s local dentist, Vet’s can provide dental care in the form of regular cleaning.
This is probably the most expensive method for the pet owner. However, know that the Vet that is experienced in dental cleaning and oral hygiene can spot issues the owner might not see or recognize.
It can be a good practice to seek the help of a professional every so often.
Especially if you own one of the smaller breeds such as I do in my Pomeranian; which is susceptible to dental disease and tooth loss (especially as they grow older).
Natural Ways of Teeth Cleaning Dogs
This is a very effect way to prevent plaque and tartar buildup if your dog resist the brushing or the wipes. Just follow the instructions on the bottle and give your dog a fresh minty breath.
Dry dog food that has natural ingredients can be very effective in overall dog teeth health and well-being. There are a lot of dogs food manufacture that claim their product is good for dental health, but inform yourself as what is in their ingredients.
Remember, some pet food manufactures may not be following regulations as close as they should be.
Toys designed for maintaining dog teeth health can provide you dog with entertainment and good shiny teeth. There is a variety in texture can help scrape the plaque off your dog’s teeth as they relax and enjoy their primal instinct to chew.
Keep in mind that you’ll want to choose size-appropriate bones. A chicken wing could choke a Great Dane and a cow femur would be a tall order for a Pomeranian.
Coconut oil is “nature’s toothpaste”. You probably didn’t know that. The antimicrobial properties of this popular oil not only promote dental health, but dogs go absolutely bonkers for the flavor.
These antlers can provide great dental health as they gradually chip away at the antler and massage their gums and teeth, removing plaque deposits. Make sure to choose a product that is a naturally shed antler, and avoid velvet antler products which are cut from live animals.
What is the Cost of Poor Dental Hygiene for my Dog?
Not maintaining proper dental help for you dog can be very costly as the dog ages. It is a “pay me now or pay me later, much expensive later” type of situation.
Dog teeth cleaning costs accelerate as the dog get older and if their teeth have not been properly taken care of. A visit to the Vet can cost in the upper hundred of dollars and tooth extractions can cost in the thousands of dollars.
The more complicated the procedure, the higher the costs will be.
Please keep you dog’s teeth clean and you will profit from the results (or at least keep more of your own money).
It is Essential to Good Health
Brushing is the “gold standard” when it comes to good dental hygiene for your dog, and best friend. Keeping your teeth in good health is just as important as it is for your dog.
As you can see, there are many ways in teeth cleaning dogs and ways that are not intrusive and more enjoyable for your dog.
And see the variety in products for maintaining good dental health for your dog.
This promotes overall great health for your dog and both he and you will lead a healthier and happy life.