You know the importance of your oral health, but how often do you think about your dog's dental health? Unfortunately, many dog owners unknowingly put their dog's health at risk by neglecting their dental hygiene. By understanding the importance of your dog's oral health and taking the necessary steps to care for it, you can do your part to help your canine companion lead a happier and healthier life.
DO Understand the Risks
The most significant risk associated with doggy dental neglect is that of periodontal disease. This is an advanced form of gum disease that can lead to gum inflammation, bleeding gums, and even tooth loss. And unfortunately, periodontal disease cannot be cured and its effects cannot be reversed. It can only be treated and managed, which is why prevention is so important.
DON'T Forego Dental Cleanings
The best way to protect your dog from periodontal disease is to bring him or her in for regular dog dental cleanings. Many dog owners don't realize that dental cleanings are even available to canines, yet most vet offices these days can perform them. Some dogs are tolerant of having their teeth cleaned, whereas fidgety or anxious dogs may be sedated while the cleaning takes place. Either way, regular cleanings can help remove plaque and tartar buildup, improving your dog's dental health and getting rid of that nasty doggy breath.
DO Try Dental Treats
There are some great treat options on the market today that are specifically designed to improve a dog's oral health. These dental treats usually have an unusual shape that's designed to clean a dog's teeth as he or she chews. Similarly, bones are great for keeping dogs busy and cleaning teeth, so you may also want to make sure your dog always has a bone available.
DON'T Be Afraid to Brush
It may be the most pleasant chore out there, but taking the time to actually brush your dog's teeth with a special tooth paste formulated for dogs can make all the difference in your dog's oral health. While a daily brushing would be ideal, even brushing your dog's teeth once a week can significantly reduce tartar and plaque build-up in between professional dental cleanings. Of course, not all dogs are tolerant about having their teeth brushed, so it's usually best to begin doing this while they're young so you can build up their tolerance and make it easier on you.