Is Dog Dental Care Necessary?


Caring for your dogs teeth is a vital part of his overall health and maintenance. Sure, you may feel funny brushing Fido's pearly whites every night before bed, but good dental care for dogs is much more than just having white teeth and good breath.

Dental disease in dogs can cause serious health issues as the bacteria from infected gums and teeth can "spread" to other parts of the body and affect vital organs such as the heart, kidneys and intestines. Tarter or dental calculus starts off soft but can harden on the dogs teeth. Once hardened, it cannot be brushed away but requires a dental scaling just like you get in the dentist chair! If the teeth are left untreated, the buildup can cause the gums to become inflamed and can also cause serious infections.

Does Your Dog Have Bad Teeth?

To tell if your dog has bad teeth, lift up his lips and check his teeth at the gumline - can you see tarter? Are the teeth white or discolored? Does his breath smell? Are there broken teeth?

All of these can indicate the need for better dog tooth care. Your veterinarian will probably do a dental check as part of they yearly checkup and can advise you as to the extent of the problem, if any.

Providing Better Dog Tooth Care

Bones

Chewing on raw bones can be a good way for your dog to remove built up tarter. I would advise against cooked bones as they can splinter and cause damage to the gums or intestine if swallowed. There are also some manufactured bones that are specially formulated for dental care.

Brushing Your Dogs Teeth

Brushing is a vital part of dog tooth care and should be done at least once a week. There are plenty of flavored toothpastes formulated for dogs that your pet will love the taste of. You can use a finger brush (a rubber piece that fits on the end of your finger with bristles), a hand held brush that looks much like a human tooth brush, or a little brush that fits on the end of a "ring" which you put on your finger. I have a tiny dog with a small mouth and I find the "ring" brush works best for me.

Scaling

This procedure is done by your veterinarian and is pretty much the same thing as the scaling you get at the dentist. The teeth are scraped and polished and any loose or badly damaged teeth are removed. Your dog is put under anesthesia for this procedure and it is quite costly. Proper brushing will limit the need for this to be done.

Getting Your Dog Used To Brushing

While it's best to start when he is a puppy, it's not too late for your older dog to get good dental care! Start off slowly, maybe with just a dab of the toothpaste on your finger so he can lick it off (my dog loves the taste!). Be sure to use a special paste for dogs and not human toothpaste - get a paste from your vet that has enzymes that will help fight the bacteria. Also, you'll want a soft brush so you do not damage the gums.

Take it one day at a time and gradually get the dog used to you touching his head and opening the mouth. Each day try to go one step further - open the mouth, then touch his teeth, then his gums. Use your finger at first and introduce the brush later. This can be a a bonding time for you and your dog - eventually your pet may even look forward to his nightly brushing!

You should try to brush your dogs teeth every day or at least every other day so that the plaque will not have a chance to harden. While this may seem like a chore, think of it as an important medical need for your pet. Frequent brushing and proper dental care can add years to your pets life!

Lee Dobbins is a pet lover and webmaster of ePet Pet Center where you can find out more about the care of pets. Be sure to check out the new dog breed guide.


MORE RESOURCES:

RT

Eating cat for Christmas: Activists call on Swiss parliament to outlaw pet ...
RT
Animal rights activists have drawn up a petition to ban the 'barbaric' practice of eating pets in Switzerland, where cat meat often appears on traditional Christmas menus in rural areas. The animal protection group, SOS Chats Noraingue, has handed over ...
Dog's dinner: Bid to stop the Swiss eating petsABC Online
Swiss asked to stop eating their pet cats and dogsThe Times (subscription)
Swiss Animal Rights Activists Would Like People To Kindly Stop Eating Their PetsJunkee
New Vision -Reuters
all 73 news articles »


MassLive.com

Pet Project: Pets available for adoption in WMass shelters Nov. 28
MassLive.com
Jackie Terrier, Jack Russell Chihuahua, Short Coat Location: Springfield: Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society Gender: Female Age: 2 years Weight: S This adorable little peanut looks just like a miniature Jack Russell - all 6 pounds of her! Perfect for ...
Humane Society of Weld County at capacity for dogsGreeley Tribune

all 3 news articles »


PC Gamer

Star Citizen plans sci-fi pets as it cruises towards $64 million
Polygon
"We have repair bots, we have fish, but we haven't implemented a traditional pet system in Star Citizen yet," noted Cloud Imperium chief Chris Roberts. "At $64 million, that changes. From Jones the Cat in Alien to the Battlestar Galactica's Daggit ...
Welcome. Star Citizen Getting Traditional and Exotic Pets - IGNIGN
Star Citizen's next stretch goal will secure pets in spacePC Gamer
Star Citizen eclipses $63 million, adds petsJoystiq
IncGamers.com -TweakTown
all 19 news articles »


Las Vegas Review-Journal

Reader-submitted photos and adoptable pets, Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2014
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Kelly found the perfect home when she found us. That was about a year and a half ago. She is such a sweet well-behaved girl and she is SO dearly loved. Here is Kelly enjoying a moment on the chaise lounge in front of her house (she loves to relax and ...



Animal rescue groups host events, offer pets: Animals in the News
cleveland.com
Imbibing in Kent for pets: The Portage Animal Protective League hosts a wine and beer tasting event from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Overlook restaurant, 1519 Overlook Road. Tickets are $50 for tastings, hors d'oeuvres, raffles and an auction.

and more »


Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Thanksgiving holiday brings its own set of hazards for pets
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
While family and friends gather today to celebrate Thanksgiving, the family dog could be getting tasty tidbits under the table or sneaking into the oh-so-tempting garbage can. Thanksgiving can present a number of dangers for pets. They can easily get ...
Make it a safe holiday for petsToledo Blade

all 3 news articles »


Care2.com

9 Reasons to Be Thankful for Pets
Care2.com
As you brine the turkey, cheer for your favorite football team or, better yet, watch The National Dog Show this Thanksgiving week, take some time to be thankful for your pet. After all, your cat or dog is a member of your family and deserves to be ...
Spot's corner: Fun facts about your petsSavannah Morning News
Keeping your pets safe during the holidaysKSAT San Antonio
Sneak your pets safe treats on ThanksgivingKXLY Spokane
courierjournal -Columbus Dispatch (blog)
all 63 news articles »


OzarksFirst.com

7 Holiday Dangers for Pets
OzarksFirst.com
Solution: Your guests may not know that feeding rich holiday fare to pets can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and potentially life-threatening condition most commonly caused by overindulgence in fatty food. Make it clear to visitors that giving ...



WNDU-TV

Thanksgiving food pets should avoid
WNDU-TV
Turkey, casseroles, stuffing and pie is likely to fill tables across Michiana in the coming days. While the delectable dishes are tempting for any human, they can be an inviting treat for pets too. In time for the biggest meal of the year, a local ...

and more »


Washington Times

D.C. Humane Society's 'Black Furdays' helps pet find forever homes
Washington Times
The Washington Humane Society is offering a special “Black Furdays” flash sale on adoptable pets on Friday and Saturday, slashing adopting fees down to $10 for some animals. “We find that sometimes when people are unsure about whether to check out ...
Humane Society offers 'doorbuster' deals on pets for Black FridayTBO.com (blog)
Black Friday adoption special on black-furred petsWLKY Louisville
Pets bring medical challenges to CCSPCAVineland Daily Journal
KING5.com -Dailybarometer -Local 8 Now
all 80 news articles »

Google News




PetsFriends.com - the best dating site for singles who are pet lovers!

home | site map
© 2006