Dr. Frank's Anthem Dentist Blog

 

Dental Care

Dogs are truly a man’s best friend. We treasure their loyalty and affection. It is just as important that we care for our pet’s health as it is our own. With the advent of the vaccinations and treatments available today, most dogs live long and happy lives. One area of dog care that is forgotten is oral care. It is just as important for your dog to have their teeth brushed as it is for us. One of the major ailments facing dogs today is oral disease. It is easy to prevent with good dental care.

Dental Disease in Dogs

Plaque is the number one oral problem with our canine friends. Excess tartar from left over food particles and bacteria form the plaque. If the plaque is not removed it will start to turn to a form of tartar that leads to gingivitis. This is when your dogs gums are bright red near the teeth. This is the main cause of bad breath in dogs.

Gingivitis left untreated will lead to periodontal disease which is irreversible and may result in teeth becoming abscessed. But that is not all. The bacteria found in both gingivitis and periodontal disease can enter your dogs blood stream and cause infections in the heart, liver and kidneys.

Prevention is the best way to deal with oral care. By brushing your dogs teeth regularly, the tartar will not have the chance to build up and cause gingivitis. This routine home care should be part of your dog’s health care regiment. Most veterinarians will include an oral exam when your dog goes in for their annual physical. A thorough dental exam can spot any potential problems before they become problems.

If you have not been doing the preventative dental home brushing, it may be necessary for your veterinarian to perform a dental cleaning. You can check during the year for any potential problems with your dog by doing routine exams at home. Look for the warning signs such as bad breath or red and swollen gums. If you see bleeding or bumps around any of your dog’s teeth, these are reasons to call your veterinarian.

After doing an examine, brush your dogs teeth. This should not be an ordeal for you or your dog. Take your time and give your dog lots of positive affirmation as they sit still and they will begin to look forward to the daily occurrence. Here are some basic do’s and don’ts for at home care.

1. Be sure to use toothpaste that is specifically designed for animal oral health care. Our toothpaste will make your dog ill in the stomach. There are a variety of toothpastes made for animal oral care, selecting the one that is right for you may be a trial and era until your dog begins to look forward to the event. Again, do not use human toothpaste nor fluoride on your dog’s teeth.

2. Toothbrush or sponge? There are toothbrushes specifically for your dog. Your preference may actually come from the size of your dog. Sponges are softer but do not provide the scrubbing power of the brush. In reality, what ever your dog allows will work if you take the time to slowly ensure all food particles are removed from your dogs gumline.

3. Avoid feeding your dog table scraps. This only increases the buildup of plaque and tartar and can ultimately lead to other health issues.

4. There are some toys that assist in the dental care such as rope toys or Plaque Attacker dental toys are good choices. Be sure to always watch your dog when they are chewing on a toy. Some toys that are too hard can actually do more damage than good.

Dog dental health starts at home with you. With constant preventative maintenance in oral care, your dog can live without ever falling prey to periodontal disease.

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