Dog Dental Health

Dog Dental Health

 Dogs need regular dental care to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

The dogs’ ancestor, the wolf, ate what he could hunt , and he ate it all – fur, bones and stomach content. The crunchy part of this diet helped to prevent plaque build-up and gum disease.
It’s unlikely that your dog is going to be doing much hunting in his own back yard, so try to control plaque and tartar build up by offering a mainly dried food diet along with suitable commercial chews.
For some reason, your dog may need to eat a mainly tinned food diet, in which case extra attention should be given to his oral hygiene.

The modern dog and his dental care
Statistically, by 3 years of age, 80 percent of dogs will show signs of teeth and gum disease, which left unattended can lead to serious health problems.

Dental care is a very important but often overlooked part of a dog’s general health so budget for regular scaling, polishing and even teeth extractions for dogs that are prone to plaque, tartar and gum disease.

Which dental diseases do dog suffer from?

  • Plaque is a biofilm that is usually colourless and builds up in time on the dog’s teeth. The microorganisms that form the biofilm are mainly Streptococcus mutans and anaerobes. If the plaque is allowed to remain the surface of the dog’s teeth, it mineralizes into tartar.
  • Tartar is caused by the continual accumulation of minerals from saliva on the plaque. The rough surface provides an ideal host for more plaque formation. Tartar then proceeds to destroy the dog’s gum line. Once the gum line has been destroyed, the dog can lose teeth.
  • Halitosis (bad breath), and periodontal disease are the result of neglected plaque and tartar problems. Dogs also suffer considerable pain from dental disease – just as we do. The problem can than progress as bacteria in the dog’s mouth can also affect other parts of the body, such as the heart and kidneys causing life threatening diseases.

Do dogs really need their teeth brushed?

Yes, they do! Clean their teeth after the main meal. Use only toothpaste suited to dogs. This is necessary because dogs cannot spit out and should never swallow human toothpaste. Find the right sized doggie toothbrush and brush their teeth regularly.
By training your junior dog to accept teeth cleaning, you may cut down on dental bills.
Not all dogs will accept teeth cleaning. Chihuahuas and other small breeds sometimes prove difficult.

An alternative to teeth brushing is the daily inclusion of dried food in your dog’s diet.

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