Do Dogs Need Regular Dental Care?
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from health complications if their teeth aren’t properly maintained. Appropriate oral hygiene can extend your dog’s life by up to four years if you are committed to daily maintenance and regular checks. The Kirrawee Veterinary Hospital team is here to bring you the facts about canine dental care so you know how to protect your dog’s oral health.
The Risks of Neglecting Dental Care in Dogs
Dental problems are common in older dogs; however, we do see younger dogs suffer from poor oral health due to their diet. It only takes between three and five days for plaque to appear on healthy teeth and if you leave the problem untreated, the plaque hardens into tartar.
Tartar causes gingivitis and bad breath, progressing into ulcers and loose teeth. If your dog suffers from an infection due to gingivitis, the resulting medical conditions can be life-threatening. These include kidney failure and heart failure which is why it’s so important to start your dog’s oral health routine early.
The most common signs of dental disease are:
- painful spots in the mouth
- bad breath
- difficulty eating
- lessened appetite
- loss of teeth
- pawing at the mouth
- yellow-brown tartar build-up
- increased drooling
How to Prevent Dental Disease in Dogs
There are many ways to prevent dental disease in dogs and minimise the risk factors – some of them are similar to how humans do it.
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
Just like in humans, the easiest way to remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth is with regular brushing. To create an oral hygiene program that your dog will love, follow the steps below.
- Introduce tooth brushing slowly and try not to restrain your dog too much. The calmer they are, the easier this process will be in the long term.
- Dip your finger in wet dog food and rub this on their gums so they get used to your finger in their mouth in a positive way.
- Place gauze over your finger and rub the teeth in a circular motion.
- Introduce a soft pet toothbrush with special toothpaste from your local vet.
Dental Treats for Dogs
Hard food with a dental tick of approval is great for protecting your dog’s teeth, reducing plaque and bacteria, and stimulating the gums. Additionally, you can give your dog a raw bone once a week to minimise the risk of dental disease.
Book Your Dog In for Teeth Cleaning
If you’re just starting out with your dental routine, the first step is visiting your local vet. The team at Kirrawee Veterinary Hospital offer dental check-ups where we will examine your dog’s teeth and restore their condition with a professional clean. Call (02) 9521 6422 or contact us online to make an appointment.