Take a Bite out of Dog Grooming with Oral Care
If you ask any dog owner what caring for their dog means to them, they’d probably say things like routine vet exams and shots, exercise, brushing their fur, feeding them and clipping their nails. Sadly, many dog owners wouldn’t even think of saying dental care. Yet it is, and should be, a basic part of dog grooming.
What’s more shocking is that by the time they’re three years old, over 80% of dogs have symptoms of periodontal disease. But it’s not only about white teeth and fresh breath. If you don’t take care of your dog’s teeth and gums, the problems that develop will eventually affect your dog’s overall health.
So how do gum and teeth problems start? It begins much the same way it does in us. When your fur-baby eats, bits of food get stuck on his teeth and that means bacteria can form. If you don’t remove it, your pup’s saliva mixes with the food bits and bacteria and creates plaque. The plaque hardens days to become tartar and tartar presents a nice hideaway for more plaque to accumulate. Thus, irritating the gums and causing gingivitis which is gum inflammation.
And what is gingivitis?
- Gums getting red and swollen where they meet the teeth.
- Bad breath
- Your pooch’s gums bleed
This is the start of periodontal disease. When gingivitis sets in, his gums will pull away from his teeth and that gap could become packed with food and more bacteria, thereby making the problem worse and probably painful. But gingivitis can disappear with a good oral care routine. However, if you don’t treat it, the next stage of periodontal disease—periodontitis—isn’t reversible. In this stage, your furry friend could develop an infection in addition to losing teeth and bone. The bacteria in his mouth could also get into his bloodstream and then spread to his lungs, heart, kidneys and other vital organs.
It’s essential to begin dental care in his life as early as possible, and then keep up the care with a daily schedule for optimum health.
Oral Care Tips
Brush Every Day – As we must do, this is a great way to maintain your buddy’s healthy teeth. Brushing his teeth is a lot like brushing your own and you can even use a human toothbrush with very soft bristles; likewise, your local pet store carries toothbrushes especially made for dogs. If you’d rather not use a conventional toothbrush, try using a small brush that fits on your index finger; it’s called a finger toothbrush and might be easier to move around your dog’s mouth. However, you must never use human toothpaste on your canine’s teeth. Why? Our toothpaste contains detergents and fluoride. Dogs don’t have the ability to spit as we (and camels) do; they would end up swallowing the toothpaste which could cause harm to them. We have other articles that go more into depth about how to brush your dog’s teeth.
Healthy Diet – Yes, what you feed your pooch has a lot to do with how healthy his teeth and gums are. Sounds familiar, right? Dry food can assist in maintaining clean teeth by decreasing the amount of tartar and plaque that accumulates on his teeth. Pedigree Food for Dogs is terrific because it has an X-shaped kibble. This shape was created to help clean your canine’s teeth as he chews—right down to his gum line! Furthermore, Pedigree DentalStix is a fantastic treat or snack to feed him; his tartar build-up will be diminished by up to 80%!
Give Your Pooch the Proper Toys – Don’t let him play with toys that are extremely hard; these toys will break his teeth. A good, safe brand of dog toy is Kong and nylon bones are a better choice than the knuckle bones.
Routine Veterinary Cleanings and Exams – Besides brushing your fur-baby’s teeth, it’s important for him to see your vet for routine dental cleanings and exams. Your vet can discover and provide treatment for any issues prior to them becoming serious problems.
Now you know just how critical good oral hygiene is for your beloved dog and following these tips are a great way to ensure his teeth and gums remain healthy just like the rest of him. Also, don’t forget that a groomer, such as ourselves, provide special care like brushing your pooch’s teeth and oral irrigation. So please contact us today or ask for more details at your next appointment.