Dental Care for your pet should be done as soon as you bring them home. Upon bring home your new puppy get him use to having his mouth open and inspected, and having his teeth cleaned to help prevent tarter build up and prevent periodontal diseases.
Dental plaque, which is composed of bacteria, saliva and cellular debris, builds up on the enamel of the teeth. When plaque accumulates with food particles, it becomes hard, thick and yellow-or calcified-and is called tarter. Tarter becomes evident on many pets’ teeth by the time they’re 2 to 3 years old. If not removed tarter causes red, inflamed, infected, and painfully gums called gingivitis, halitosis – bad breath and periodontal gum disease which leads to pain and tooth loss. The bacterial can also spread through the bloodstream to other organs in the body, including the heart, kidneys, and liver, causing chronic disease or life-threatening infection. Signs of dental disease,
Look for these signs of dental disease:
- Bad breath
- Decreased appetite/pain when chewing
- Weight loss
- Yellow teeth
- Red or swollen gums
- Missing teeth
- Nasal discharge
- Tearing or swelling below one eye
Good care begins with the basics. If your pet suffers from gingivitis, then it may be helpful to use an antiseptic spray in his mouth. Ask your vet for advice on this. Feeding mainly soft, canned food may adversely affect the teeth, so provide some crunchy food like kibble or biscuit-type feed at ever meal time, as this will help clean teeth. Canine dental toys may also help to clean teeth, as will raw meaty bones (bare bones provide no benefit and may even damage the teeth). Don’t throw stones for your dog to retrieve, as these will damage teeth.
Feeding your pet firm dry kibble is a good way help slow down plaque build up through the natural abrasive action. Also dental bones and Flossie type chews are an easy effective way to help clean your pets teeth.
Appropriate chew toys are another fun and easy way to prevent tarter. Numerous products are available in our toy category.
One of the best ways to prevent tarter is to brush your pet’s teeth. Yes, I know it sounds hard and it can be tricky. The best way is to make it a fun experience early in your pets life. Your veterinarian can show you how to brush your pets teeth. Toothpaste, toothbrush, chews, mouth rinse and more are available to make it easier.
To clean your dog’s teeth start by dipping your finger in dog toothpaste and rub along his gum line and teeth. Once he is use to this progress to using a dog toothbrush or finger tooth-glove, and gently brush his teeth and gums. The toothbrush, glove and toothpaste is available in your local pet store’s supplement section.
Exams and Cleanings
Your pet needs regular dental exams just like you do. Frequency of cleaning depends on each pet’s individual needs, so be sure to consult your veterinarian at least once every six months.