Dental Care for Your Dogs

Are your teeth bright and shiny? How about your breath, sweet and fresh? Good. Now go over to your dog, open his mouth and take a peek inside. If his teeth aren’t as white as yours and if his breath knocks you back a few feet then his mouth needs your attention.

What do you think would happen to your pearly whites if you never visited the dentist?
Right. It wouldn’t be pretty. And it’s not pretty in your pet’s mouth if he has never received dental care. The first line of doggie dental defense is YOU.

Yes, it’s you. Check out the shelves of Petco or Petsmart next time you’re there and pick up some dental care products out of the many that are available for you to help your pet keep his teeth and gums in good shape throughout his life time.

Your dog may need a professional cleaning at the vet once or twice a year. The time in between is largely within your control. His dental health is literally in your hands. Really.

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It’s called a tooth brush. Daily brushing of your dog’s teeth is going to save you many hard earned dollars at the vet’s office and your dog won’t have to suffer the consequences of plaque build up. Bacteria in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body causing illnesses and infection.

Ask your vet to do a dental exam on your pet each time he goes for a check up or vaccinations. His gums need to remain healthy as well. Periodontal disease is common in dogs who have that yellow/brown plaque build up on their teeth. This is painful to the dog and may lead to loss of teeth. Bad breath is not a normal doggie phenomenon, it’s a sign that there is something not right in his mouth. Many people believe that a dog or cat just naturally have an odor to their mouths, but although his breath may not smell like a bed of roses, it shouldn’t be offensive, either.

Take these easy steps to ensure your dog’s oral health is taken care of. You’ll be glad you took the time and your best friend will thank you with many years of loyalty and unconditional doggie love1

1-Give your dog something to chew on. Not your old shoe. Try some products made specifically to promote dental health. I give my dog Yam horns (dried sweet potatoes) and Bright Brites. (Bright Bites are star shaped dental treats you can find at www.brightbites.com.

2-Use a dental rinse to clean the bacteria and soft food out of his mouth. C.E.T. makes one that employs a curved straw to sneakily get that rinse in his mouth before he can run away from it. Check it out at www.virbacvet.com/cet. This is probably best for larger dogs as smaller dogs have smaller mouths and smaller mouths don’t make for a good target.

3-BRUSH! C.E.T. produces a line of toothbrushes, finger brushes and toothpastes in flavors dogs love. We use a finger brush and poultry flavored tooth paste. It’s easier to get the finger brush into the dog’s mouth and gives you more control over the brushing. Don’t worry about the dog. He’s busy trying to lick the chicken or liver flavored toothpaste off of your finger. You’ll have plenty of time to work your magic. Allowing you to brush his teeth is its own reward. Check these out at the web address above.

4-Along with yearly oral exams, a professional cleaning whenever your vet deems it necessary will give your dog a fresh start each time. Because a dog usually can’t or won’t keep his mouth open long enough for a cleaning, he will be put under general anesthesia while the vet does the job. An ultrasonic scaler is used to scrape the plaque from the dog’s teeth. Then he gets a polishing to make sure his teeth are smooth with no crevices for plaque to creep into and start the whole process over again.

Take care of that best friend of yours. He’d do the same for you if he had opposable thumbs.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.  
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