Pet Health

All you need to know about canine dental health

October 12, 2011

Canine dental health

Since time immemorial dogs have been our companions. We pet them, play with them and even call them our best friend to admire. The secret of dog management in our way is all a matter of approaching your puppy in the right way and programming your pet to fit in your life style. A dog’s dental hygiene is just as important as a human’s dental hygiene. In order to prevent the teeth issues for dogs, they need to be brushed every day, even though this sounds hilarious it is an important thing to be kept in mind.

Let us see what is it that you can do in order for your dog not to have any teeth issues.

Symptoms of oral disease

  1. Bad offensive breath
  2. Inflamed gums with white or red color
  3. Loose teeth
  4. Cysts under the tongue
  5. Excessive drooling
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Vomiting
  8. Excessive urination

Mouth disorders

  1. Periodontal disease: this is an infection between the tooth and gums which can be very painful and it can spread to other parts too. The symptoms are discharge from the nose, excessive sneezing, loose teeth, painful teeth and foul breath.
  2. Gingivitis: Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It occurs due to the long-term effects of plaque deposits. The symptoms are same as that of periodontal disease.
  3. Halitosis: Also called bad breath. It is usually caused to the growth of bacteria on the food particles in the mouth that are stuck between the teeth. This is a first sign of oral problem.
  4. Mouth tumors: These appear as lumps in the mouth. They can be benign or malignant. They can be removed with surgery.
  5. Canine distemper teeth: This is an infectious viral disease that can be fatal and might even cause death sometimes. These teeth need to be removed by vet.

Tooth brushing kit: Dog’s dental kit consists of

1. Toothbrushes: double ended toothbrush/ triple bristle toothbrush/ finger toothbrush.

2. Dental Sponge: this is a small soft sponge on the end of a handle. They are softer than a tooth brush so you can use them initially for your dog to get habituated to oral care before you progress to using a tooth brush as it is much softer then toothbrush. Dental sponge can be useful for dogs which have painful gums.

3. Dental wipes – These prevent plaque formation due to the solution chlorohexidine in which it is dipped, they also prevent tartar.

4. Toothpaste: The most important thing to remember is that you should use pet toothpaste, not a human one. The toothpaste you choose should contain enzymes that inhibit the development of plaque.

5. Oral Gels and Oral Rinses: Oral gels and rinses can be used when your dog is absolutely reluctant to get his teeth cleaned or if the owners do not like cleaning them with a brush.

Brushing techniques

First take a small amount of paste on your finger and rub it gently on the teeth and gums of your dog. Now using a dog’s toothbrush rub it gently on the front teeth up and down and the other way on the lower teeth just like you brush your teeth. Once your dog gets used to this do the inside also. An alternative to teeth brushing is using a chewing object.

Things to remember

1. Examine your dog’s teeth and gums every week.

2. Give your dog chew toys. This helps massage his gums and help keep his teeth clean by scraping away soft tartar.

3. A good and well balanced diet is a must for your dog. You are confused what to feed him then better take the suggestion of your vet.

4. Regular visits to the Veterinarian. In spite of all the things you may be doing right, it is still a good idea to take your dog to see the veterinarian, at least once every three months for a checkup.

Quick tips

1. Always ask your veterinarian to the dental exam.

2. Ask your veterinarian for a tooth care demonstration after the dental cleaning.

3. Shop for appropriate dental care kit, never use human toothpaste.

4. Introduce your pet to brushing and dental care slowly.

5. Introduce foods or treats to keep teeth and gums healthy.

6. Give your dog bones or toys to chew to keep his teeth healthy.

In spite of all the things you may be doing right, it is still a good idea to take your dog to see the veterinarian, at least once every three months for a checkup. The veterinarian can help you to make better choices, and even may even make some suggestion, as to what else you can do to further improve your dog’s health.

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