You are careful to maintain your dental health to avoid the development of gum disease and other oral maladies because you know that your teeth and gums are vital to your overall well-being. The same is true for the dental health for your dog. Animals that have some form of periodontal disease are at a higher risk of becoming prone to significant health issues that can impact vital organs like the kidneys, the heart, and liver.
Much like with us humans, if there are emerging health concerns in other areas of the body they can manifest themselves through oral maladies as a sign that something is wrong. That’s why routine maintenance and monitoring of your dog’s oral condition can make a difference in the well-being of your pet.
Here are six important tips from Veterinarian Near Me that can keep your dog’s teeth and gums looking and feeling their best at all times:
1. What to Watch For
Monitoring your dog’s oral health includes looking out for visible signs of distress that can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Does your dog has red, inflamed, or bleeding gums, dark tartar around the gum line, displays discomfort in chewing, demonstrates a tendency to touch the mouth with its paws, or has foul breath? If so, your dog may be exhibiting stages of dental disease.
2. Teeth Cleaning
You go for professional cleanings from your dentist each year (at least I hope you do!), you should plan on bringing your dog into the veterinarian to have his or her teeth cleaned along the same schedule.
A visit to the vet can pinpoint any major dental issues, evidence of gum disease, and plaque build-up. The longer you let these problems progress, the worse they can be for your dog. Six month or yearly appointments allow for your vet to check the teeth, gums, and tongue for signs of oral maladies that could pose serious health risks.
Examinations and cleaning performed by a vet can find problems and develop treatments to combat illnesses.
3. Brushing at Home
After your dog gets a professional cleaning at the vet you’ll want to continue the practice of brushing their teeth on a routine basis.
This might take a little time at first as your dog gets used to having your finger and a brush in its mouth. But if you work at it and remain patient, you can get on a dental hygiene regimen with your dog that will lead to healthier teeth and gums.
Just start by massaging the lips, teeth and gums with a finger for a minute or so. Once the dog is willing to let you continue doing so, introduce some specially formulated dog toothpaste into the mix. Before long, your pooch will let you use a brush to eliminate tartar build-up.
4. Dental Wipes
If your dog isn’t having it with a toothbrush and toothpaste, there are pre-moistened dental wipes and pads that you can use to do the job as well. You just use them to wipe the teeth and inside your dog’s mouth to clear away food particles, debris, and tartar located on the dog’s teeth and gum line.
Just be careful when you’re putting your fingers in a dog’s mouth, you are putting them at risk if the dog is uncomfortable or annoyed by this intrusion. So take it easy and slow at first.
5. Special Diet
Dogs that are experiencing periodontal disease can be put on a special diet that can help to clean the teeth as they chew. Some of these foods are made in the form of kibble that is sold at commercial pet shop outlets.
There is also the raw food diet option which puts an emphasis on using the teeth to perform the natural functions of biting and chewing on raw foods that have bones and tough muscle tissue that gives the teeth a workout. A raw diet comes with stimulants that can reduce tartar and eliminate plaque.
6. Chew Toys and Treats
Another smart way to help clean teeth and stimulate gums is by giving your dog chew toys to play with and treats to crunch. These can both be beneficial to your dog’s oral health by reducing the harmful elements that can lead to dental disease.
There are plenty to choose from, but be sure you select a chew toy that has been given the Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Approval. Chew toys with this endorsement meet the guidelines for eliminating the ill effects of tartar and plaque while massaging the teeth and gums.
But avoid things like tennis balls, dried pig’s ears, and cow hooves as these can all have negative impacts on your dog’s mouth and exacerbate any problems that might be developing.