Taking care of your dog’s teeth
As you know, we are very hot on grooming here at Gravitis Pet Supplies – the majority of our business comes from selling dog grooming baths and grooming tables - and our pet hairdryer is the number one bestselling dog hairdryer on Amazon. Which is why we know grooming your pets isn’t just about making them look good – it makes them feel good too, by keeping them healthy and happy with shiny, glossy coats that are free from matts or tangles.
As humans, part of our regular grooming routine includes brushing our teeth – and again this isn’t just about looking good, it’s important for our overall health too. But as dog owners we can often overlook taking care of our dog’s teeth. According to a recent report, some vets have expressed concerns over the nation’s canine dental health. Some 80% of dogs over the age of three have some sort of dental problem – or doggy gum disease. So what can we do to make sure that our pets are getting the best oral care?
Happy dogs Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash
Signs of doggy dental problems
It is important to handle your dog’s mouth and teeth from an early age to make sure they are comfortable being inspected both by yourself or a vet.
If you’re looking at your dog’s teeth at home, then there are a few things you can check yourself before referring them to a vet for treatment.
- Discolouration - If your dog’s teeth look discoloured, then it might be time to take them in for a check-up to make sure there are no signs of tartar build up or gum disease.
- Broken, loose or missing teeth - Your dog's teeth become damaged if they have chewed on something hard. Loose or missing teeth may also be a sign of an underlying condition and need to be checked out.
- Gum Inflammation – Your dog’s gums should be a healthy shade of pink with no signs or soreness or swelling.
- Drooling – Some breeds of dog drool a little all the time but if your dog has just started drooling or is drooling excessively then it may be a sign that something is wrong.
- Bad breath – We know that your dog’s breath is always going to smell a little bit, well, doggy – but you should be able to tell if it smells different to usual – this could indicate a problem with their stomach as well as tooth decay or gum disease
Does your dog's breath smell? Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash
You know your dog better than anyone so if you’ve had a look and noticed anything from our list – then something may be amiss and might be a good idea to get to the vets for a check-up. If your dog is off their food this could be a sign that there is something wrong with their mouth too.
Most vets are able to clean your dogs teeth and descale them as well as treating any other dental problems, but prevention is better than cure and there are a number of things you can do to help care for your dogs mouth, with a good doggy dental routine.
Getting into a doggy dental routine
You may decide that you'd like to clean your dogs teeth regularly yourself. Most pet stores sell dog toothbrushes and toothpaste. It’s important to use ones that have been designed for dogs as some human toothpastes can certain contain cleaning agents that are not good for dogs. Dog toothpaste also tends to be more palatable for your pets so you can turn your toothbrushing sessions into a fun and enjoyable experience.
Healthy dog Photo by Krisztian Tabori on Unsplash
The best time to brush your dog’s teeth is in the evening, so that you can remove all buts of food that may have got stuck in their teeth during the day. Before you start getting into a brushing routine, let your dog try a bit of the toothpaste first to get used to the taste.
Lift your dog’s lips and brush gently along the gums and teeth. Most dogs won’t let you brush along the inner sides of their teeth, so focus on the outer edges, all the way to the back. Be sure to brush the gums too as this helps to stimulate blood flow and keep them healthy as well removing any plaque or food between the teeth.
Brushing regularly as part of a dental routine can help keep your dog happy and healthy – be sure to reward them (with a toy or a cuddle – not more treats) after the brushing, to make sure they build up a fun association with tooth brushing. You can also feed your dog a daily dental treat as part of their oral health routine.
Do you have any doggy dental care tips that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below.
Main Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash