Illness that begins as poor dental hygiene is a worrying affair. What starts as a seemingly simple build-up of tartar in your dog’s mouth can lead to serious illness. In some cases tartar can spread bacteria to major organs with grave results and many experts believe that dental disease can cheat a dog of up to 20% of his potential life expectancy.
When tartar builds in your dog’s mouth, you may notice redness of the gums. This is gingivitis. If left untreated, this can result in a condition called Periodontitis (inflammation and infection). Repeated infections and inflammation can cause tooth loosening or loss. Symptoms of dental problems in dogs are bad breath, pain, difficulty chewing and eating, swollen or bleeding gums and a build-up of brown tartar on and between teeth.
There is good news! Whether your dog is experiencing dental problems, or not, you can adopt some simple dental hygiene practices right now to avoid problems in the future.
We Can Take Action on Tartar
The first thing to do is assess the condition of your dog’s teeth and gums. We, at Livingston Vet Clinic, will be more than happy to see your fur kid if you are worrying about dental health and hygiene.
Any dog with excessive tartar build-up may benefit from a dental descaling operation where he spends the day at our clinic and has a thorough teeth cleaning and exam of the mouth.
Even if your dog already has clean teeth, it is never too early to begin a dental hygiene routine. Great dog care is not waiting for the symptoms to appear, but preventing them altogether. There are a few easy changes you can make which will prevent many health issues later on.
Take a Brush to those Canines
Invest in a dog toothbrush and a canine toothpaste. It’s important not to consider human toothpastes or even some pet store brands which can contain Xylitol, a sugar free sweetener that is toxic to dogs.
Most dog specific toothpastes are meat flavored and dogs welcome them, they taste like a treat. They can be rubbed or brushed onto your dog’s teeth to break down any potential tartar build-up. You can begin by letting him lick the paste from the brush or your finger and gradually over time progress to brushing his teeth for longer.
Take some time to speak to us about your dog’s current diet, how conducive it is to dental health and what you can do with the doggy dinner and snacks to encourage an overall fresher mouth. Something simple, like feeding a daily carrot or tartar control snacks, can make a big difference.
It’s never too soon for clean teeth! Simple dental hygiene habits can easily prevent costly dental procedures and severe disease for your loved one.
Just a few minutes a day of knowledgeable preventative doggy dental care will result in a healthier and happier canine, with clean fresh breath and a smile to be proud of.