The Pet Concierge Quickstart Guide for Dog Dental Care
If you’re wondering whether or not you should worry about dog dental care, the answer is definitely yes! In fact, if you don’t take steps to keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy, they may develop disease and pain, which can lead to serious complications like anemia and heart problems. As with humans, it’s best to catch any issues early so that they don’t get out of hand. Luckily, there are plenty of great ways to give your dog the oral care they need before any problems occur.
Types of Dog Teeth
It’s important to know what types of teeth dogs have so you can best care for them. They have a total of 42 teeth (22 in its upper jaw and 20 in its lower), which are broken down into three main categories: incisors, canines, and molars. The incisors, also known as front teeth, help dogs tear through food like rawhide chews or kibble. A healthy dog should have six of these small chompers located on either side of his mouth between his nose and his top set of canine teeth.
Breeds Most Prone to Oral Disease
The breed is an important consideration when thinking about your dog’s dental health. Small and toy breeds, for example, have more teeth than larger dogs—35 versus 30—and their mouths are proportionately smaller, leading to more crowding. As a result, small dogs are at higher risk of dental disease due to excessive tartar accumulation. Similarly, brachycephalic breeds with short snouts (such as pugs and bulldogs) have difficulty keeping their teeth clean because they cannot physically reach all parts of their mouth; in addition, overcrowding makes it difficult for them to chew properly. Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, chow chows, German shepherds, boxers, and Siberian huskies are also some of the most susceptible breeds. Be sure you’re keeping an eye on your dog’s teeth if you have one of these breeds discussed above.
Symptoms of Dog Oral Disease
Red, inflamed gums and/or bad breath (halitosis) are two of the most common symptoms of oral disease in dogs. Red, irritated gums are an obvious sign that there’s something wrong with your dog’s teeth and mouth. You should make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible if you notice that your dog has red gums or drools excessively. At-home dental care will also help prevent these symptoms from developing further. Plaque causes the most dental problems in dogs. Plaque is made up of bacteria and food particles, which build up over time on teeth and form tartar that can lead to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and other infections if not removed regularly.
Early Detection is a Key Factor in Dog Dental Care
Although dog dental care is relatively simple, it’s important to make sure you catch any dental issues before they become larger problems. Early detection is key! Visiting your vet regularly will allow them to examine your dog’s teeth and gums and let you know whether or not any further action is required. Your dog’s first vet visit should be at least by age 3-4 months old, but some recommend earlier checkups, such as during their puppy shots series. It’s also important to bring your pet in if you notice them chewing excessively or having difficulty eating. Early detection means early intervention and treatment; waiting until a problem arises usually means more costly procedures and longer recovery times.
How to Clean Dog Teeth at Home
If you look closely at your dog’s teeth, you may notice that there is a line of discoloration on his/her teeth. This is called tartar or calculus. It’s made up of bacteria and plaque that has built up over time on your dog’s teeth. Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth will help remove tartar buildup and reduce your dog’s risk for dental disease.
What Do I Need to Brush My Dog’s Teeth?
The first thing you need is a toothbrush. A human toothbrush is too large and won’t fit into your dog’s mouth comfortably. You’ll want a small toothbrush for dogs that is designed for veterinary purposes. Do not use toothpaste when you brush your dog’s teeth, as it could be harmful if ingested. Instead, opt for pet-safe oral gels or powders designed specifically for home dental care of canines.
What If My Dog Hates Having His/Her Teeth Brushed?
Some dogs are very stoic about brushing and will take it like a champ, whereas others will run for cover at just the sight of that brush. If your pup falls into that second category, take a more gradual approach: Start by rubbing his/her gums with your finger until he/she gets used to having something in his/her mouth. Then try gently massaging around his/her teeth with a finger or a wet toothbrush. Eventually, work up to using dog-friendly toothpaste on an actual brush. If they are still hesitant, make it a game! Give your dog its own special toy just for brushing—perhaps something designed especially for dogs, like a rubber toy with nubs and ridges that really help get every part of your dog’s teeth. Then take turns playing fetch or tug-of-war with your pup while he or she holds onto that special toy
Dog Dental Care Quickstart Summary
If you don’t keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy, they may develop disease and pain. This can lead to serious complications like anemia and heart problems. There are plenty of great ways to give your dog the oral care they need before any problems occur.
Plaque is made up of bacteria and food particles that build up on teeth. It can lead to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and other infections if not removed regularly. Visiting your vet regularly will allow them to examine your dog’s teeth and gums.
Brushing your dog’s teeth will help remove tartar buildup and reduce their risk for dental disease. Some dogs are very stoic about being brushed, while others will run for cover at the sight of a toothbrush. opt for pet-safe oral gels or powders designed specifically for home dental care of canines.