We treat our four-legged friends like family, so their health is always a top priority. Ensuring your pooch benefits from the proper diet, getting a healthy dose of exercise, and keeping up with vet visits are all top of mind when we think of your dog’s health. Still, oral hygiene is actually just as important for a dog’s overall wellbeing. Below are some tips to keep your pooch smiling.
Dental health is an essential part of your dog’s overall health. Dental problems can cause or be caused by other health problems. Your dog’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.
Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats – by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken. Early detection and treatment are critical because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Other health problems found with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes. – According to the Veterinary Medical Medical Association
What can I do at home for my dog’s oral health?
Just like humans, dogs can get dental disease, which can cause a lot of damage to not only a dog’s teeth, to overall health. Dental disease can be hard to spot as a dog’s white teeth might be deceiving. Tartar can go below the gum line and cause pain to your pooch, not to mention the pain of vet bills to fix it. But also, just like humans, dogs can benefit from a good brushing.
There are a host of toothbrushes specifically made for dogs, along with toothpaste, that not only keep your furry friend’s teeth clean but taste great, so they feel like they’re being rewarded with every brush. We use Paws & Pals Dog Tooth Paste + Brush
If you need some guidance, the AVMA has a great video: How to brush your pet’s teeth.
Chew Chew Chew
No, no one is telling you it’s ok for your dog to start chewing the furniture, but having your dog chew on treats or toys specifically made for dental care can keep those pearly whites clean. Gnawing can help remove surface tartar, promote gum health, and even aid in bad breath.
There are all sorts of chews and toys out there to help with dental hygiene, so you have to find the right one for your pet’s size and chewing habits.
Get to the Vet
Sometimes a dog’s teeth need more attention if left without care for too long, or if you want to start a regular cleaning routine, so that’s where your trusted vet comes in. Your vet will better understand your dog’s oral health and the best route to move forward.
They may recommend regular cleanings or pinpoint any issues now, so they don’t become a bigger concern in the future. Either way, it’s always important to check in with your vet to see what’s best for your doggy.