Dog Teeth: Cleaning, Disease, Prevention, and More
There are many aspects of a dog’s health that dog owners need to keep up with. From feeding your dog a healthy diet, to keeping up with their grooming needs, many things impact a dog’s wellbeing. One of these incredibly important factors is a dog’s dental health.
Many dog owners do not realize that their dog’s teeth need to be cleaned, and if they do not clean their dog’s teeth, their dogs are at risk of developing dental disease. The good news is that cleaning your dog’s teeth and preventing canine dental disease is actually pretty easy.
In this article, we will be explaining all of the different ways that you can keep your dog’s teeth clean. We will also be describing what dental disease in dogs looks like along with how it can be prevented and treated. Alright, let’s get into it.
How Can You Clean a Dog’s Teeth?
There are several different ways that dog owners can keep their dog’s teeth clean. There are many teeth cleaning products for dogs that can make the process easier such as dental chews and treats. Of course, a good old fashioned teeth brushing will help keep a dog’s teeth clean as well. You may even find that a combination of these methods works best for you and your dog. Here are all of the ways that you can keep your dog’s teeth clean.
Brushing Their Teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the most effective ways of preventing plaque and tartar buildup. As a result, brushing your dog’s teeth can help prevent dental disease as well. It is best to start brushing your dog’s teeth early on, as this is better at preventing buildup than removing it.
To brush your dog’s teeth, you will need a toothbrush and some toothpaste that is specifically made for dogs. You can purchase these items from pet stores and online retailers like Chewy. Once you have these items, all you need to do is wet the toothbrush, place the dog toothpaste on it, and gently brush your dog’s teeth. You may need to start off slowly with small toothbrushing sessions if your dog is not used to it quite yet.
Dental Chews and Treats
Dental chews and treats can be another great, effective way at keeping your dog’s teeth clean. Before purchasing a bag of dental chews, make sure that it has a VOHC seal on the packaging. This seal indicates that the product was tested and is proven to help keep a dog’s teeth clean.
Dental chews work to remove plaque and tartar as a dog chews on it. This can be a great alternative for dogs that really don’t like getting their teeth brushed. Like teeth brushing, it is better to give your dog dental chews on a regular basis and not just once they start developing dental issues. This is because dental chews tend to work better as a preventative measure. However, when it comes to dental hygiene it is still better to give your dog dental chews late than never.
Antlers and Bones
Antlers and bones can also help keep your dog’s teeth clean. This is because the act of chewing on hard objects tends to clean a dog’s teeth naturally. Be careful about only giving your dog bones that are only specifically intended for dogs to chew on them. This also does not include potentially harmful products like rawhide.
Other Products That Can Help Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean
There are some other products out there that can also help keep your dog’s teeth clean. Here are some examples of other canine dental products that dog owners have found success with.
- Dental chew toys
- Dental supplements
- Dental gels
- Dental sprays
- Dental cleaning wipes
- Dental water additives
Many people have had success with cleaning their dog’s teeth using the products above. However, they tend to be most effective when used in a combination with teeth brushing and dental chews.
Can Dogs Get Dental Disease?
Yes, dogs can get dental disease, and many of them do. Vets will tell you that a staggering amount of dogs develop dental disease as they age, with the issue being most prevalent in small and toy sized dog breeds. Luckily, staying on top of your dog’s dental hygiene will help prevent them from developing dental disease.
Signs of Dental Disease in Dogs
Signs of dental disease in dogs will not go unnoticed for long in most situations, especially when the dental disease becomes severe. Here are the signs of dental disease in dogs that every dog owner should be aware of.
- Missing or loose teeth
- Red and puffy gums
- A receding gumline
- Bleeding gums
- Foul smelling breath
- Noticeable plaque and tartar buildup
- Showing signs of pain when eating and playing with toys
- Drooling from the mouth
- Pus in the mouth
- Signs of tooth decay
- Excessive sneezing
If your dog is exhibiting any of the signs of dental disease above then it is best to take them to the vet as soon as possible. This is not only because dental disease could be very painful and uncomfortable for a dog, but also because it can negatively impact their overall health over time.
How to Prevent Dental Disease in Dogs
The best way to prevent dental disease in dogs is to do things to keep their teeth clean on a regular and routine basis. Some dog owners will also choose to get their dog’s teeth professionally cleaned by a vet on a semi routine basis. A combination of teeth cleaning methods tends to work best at preventing dental disease in most dogs.
Can Dental Disease in Dogs be Treated by a Vet?
In minor cases of dental disease most vets will just recommend professional teeth cleanings. This will help keep the infection at bay. In more severe cases, tooth extraction or oral surgery may be necessary. Speaking with your vet about your dog’s dental disease severity and treatment options is the best thing to do in this situation.
Taking care of your dog’s teeth is so important to their overall wellbeing and health. If you are looking for a vet to take care of your dog’s teeth in Montgomery, AL, Montgomery Veterinary Associates is here for you. We provide dental exams, dog teeth cleaning, and care for dental disease for Montgomery area pets. Book an appointment with us online today!