Are you worried about your dogs teeth and dental health? Is there a build up of plaque and tarter?
Statistics suggest that over 80% of dogs have some degree of dental disease by the time they are 3 years old. Monitoring your dog's teeth regularly yourself is a really great way to keep track of your dogs dental health. But just tracking their teeth condition is not enough. It is essential that you take steps to keep your dog's teeth clean. It will also be a lot cheaper if the vet needs to clean your dogs teeth which may require anaesthetic.
When to start looking after your dogs teeth
At 8 weeks of age, your puppy should have a full set of sharp little baby teeth. You don't really need to care for there teeth but you could start getting your dog used to you touching their teeth and gums. This will help you clean them later.
These baby teeth will start falling out at around 4 months of age and by 7 months your dog will have all of their permanent teeth. Take care of these teeth as your dog will have them forever, hopefully.
Signs of dental problems in dogs
Your dog can't tell you if he has a tooth ache, so look for signs of dental problems. If your dog may be displaying any of the following, take him to the vet for a dental checkup:
- Bad breath
- Change in eating or dog chewing habits
- Pawing at the face or mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Misaligned or missing teeth
- Discolored, broken, missing or crooked teeth
- Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
- Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
- Bumps or growths within the mouth
Us humans are more prone to cavities than our dogs but they can still develop problems like tartar, plaque build up and gum disease.
How to preventing plaque and tartar build up in dogs
Poor dental health can lead to other, more serious health concerns including heart, liver, and kidney disease. Good teeth and dental care will ensure your dog stays happy and healthy. Here are some way that you can maintain your dogs dental health.
1. Dry food is better for your dogs teeth
Wet dog food is more likely to stick to your dogs teeth that dry kibble dog food. You may wish to try him on a dry dog food if your dog will not let you brush his teeth. This will of course depend on which sort of food you prefer to feed your dog for his overall health. If you choose a wet food diet, then there are other methods that you can use to care for his teeth.
2. Healthy teeth additives
Water additives can be added to your pet’s drinking water and work to reduce tartar forming on your dogs teeth. Pet water additives work best as a prevention, so should be introduced before your dog starts to develop tartar.
3. Doggy Dental Chews
Greenies are long time favorite of mine. Greenies Canine Dental Chews are proven to clean dogs' teeth by fighting both plaque and tartar buildup, freshening breath, and maintaining healthier teeth and gums. Designed for daily treating, our dental chews are low in fat and nutritionally complete for adult dogs.
GREENIES Dental Chews for Dogs have The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance for plaque and tartar control so make a good choice for your dogs dental health.
How to remove tartar from dogs teeth
Chewing is great for both your dogs mental and dental health. It helps to keep him occupied, engaged as well as removing buildup on his teeth and massaging his gums.
You may need to find the most appropriate chew toy for your dog depending on his size and jaw strength. Some bones and chew toys are especially designed to clean teeth and gums. Ensure the toys is safe for your dog and does not splinter or choke your dog.
1. Dental Chew Toys
Dental chew toys are designed to provide dental stimulation while helping to satisfy a dog's natural urge to chew. Toys help to clean teeth, control plaque and tartar buildup and massage your dog's gums for general oral health.
2. Brushing your dog’s teeth
Not as easy as it sounds..... actually for some dogs this will be quite difficult. But, it is well worth a try to keep your dog's teeth healthy and prevent serious dental work later in life. You will need:
- A doggy toothbrush
- Doggy toothpaste
- Lots of planning patience and luck
This might take some practice but here are some hints to try and make it a bit easier:
- Try this after exercise when your dog is nice and tired - and hopefully not grumpy!
- Start with short brushes until your dog gets used to it. Maybe just his front teeth at first
- Talk calmly in a friendly tone
- Reward your dog with a treat, nice pat or walk afterwards
Do NOT use human toothpaste for your dog. Most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs. You can find toothpaste formulated for dogs at most good pet stores or here.
Doggy Dental starter kit
If you are starting out with brushing your dogs teeth, you may wish to purchase a combo kit like this, the Doggy Dental Starter Kit.
If you find that your dog loves a good tooth brushing and you continue to do this, ensure you get a good doggy toothpaste and dog specific toothbrush.
Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste - Poultry Flavor
Petrodex Advanced Dental Care Enzymatic Toothpaste is formulated specifically for pets. With patented enzymes, this non-foaming formula works hard but does not require rinsing. With regular use, it helps control plaque and fights bad breath. Best of all, it comes in a delicious poultry flavor that dogs love!
Dog Toothbrush with Double head (2 pack)
This doggy toothbrush is 8.7" long and has duel ends with a unique bent handle to make brushing easier. There is a small brush head and a large brush head to reach those difficult places on both large and small dogs.
Dental sprays or gels for doggy dental care
A dental spray or gel can effectively reduce dental plaque, tartar build-up, bad dog breath without brushing. TruDog Gel Me is an all-natural and holistic dental gel made from essential oils which target tartar and bad breath at their source. TruDog Gel me synergistically bonds with your pets saliva to completely coat their entire mouth with a couple of applications weekly.
Vet check ups for dental health
Dental care at the vet can be very expensive, particularly if you dogs need to have surgery. If you can maintain your dogs dental health with good, regular maintenance can will potentially save your self a lot of money in the long run.
Here is a great vid on doggy dental care which also show you have to brush pooch's teeth.