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
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.
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.
Cuddle Clones Are Plush Replicas of Your Favorite PetsLifehackerEvery time I see this stuffed animal, made by Cuddle Clones, I do a double take. It's the spitting image of my dead dog. Creepiness factor aside, this custom-made stuffed animal has been healing for my family and has helped keep the memory of our ...
Cold Noses: Adoptable Pets of the WeekFlorida Times-UnionMeet him at St. Johns County Pet Center, 130 N. Stratton Road, St. Augustine. St. Johns cat adoptions are two for the price of one — $15 for all seniors, $20 for other males and females. Fees include spay/neuter, rabies vaccination and shots. (904 ...and more »
Unique pets in Northern MichiganPetoskey News-ReviewAt the Charlevoix Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Lorie DeGrazia tends to a number of reptiles and other pets that are slightly uncommon. DeGrazia was not available before press, but staff members listed some of the pets treated at their facility, including a ...
Photographers help abandoned pets find homesAOL NewsRecently, a dog was found abandoned on Bannister road and brought to KC Pet Project, where he was found to have been a victim of abuse that left him with a painful laceration around his muzzle. The veterinary team managed to heal his wounds and get ...
Keeping your pets safe this Valentine's weekendWKYC-TVThe Cleveland Animal Protective League wants you to enjoy all of the romance of the weekend holiday, but to keep in mind your other loves – your pets. Many things we commonly associate with Valentine's Day can prove to be very dangerous for your furry ...and more »
The Secret Life of Pets Dog ToysPOPSUGARWe really can't wait until The Secret Life of Pets hits theaters, and we're even more excited for when we can watch the movie at home with our own pets — though we don't want to give them any crazy ideas for what to do while we're out of the house! In ...
Homeless pets at Lollypop need love on Valentine's Day13WHAM-TVAnyone looking to adopt homeless pets can do so for $14 at all four adoption centers across Rochester. Starting on February 11, the Valentine's Day adult cats, select dogs, and all rabbits may be adopted for $14 at all four adoption centers across ...
How To Adopt A Shelter Cat - Your New Cat Will Thank You For Reading This Article
If you are thinking of adding a feline to your family, consider adopting a cat from your local animal shelter or humane society. The animals have been carefully screened for adoptability and have usually been worked with to enhance sociability.
What Type Of Food Should You Really Feed Your Cat?
What should you feed your cat to make sure he or she will have the necessary nutrition? What is the ideal mix of food to help your cat live to the limit of it's life span?Tp answer these questions, one should look at the diet of a feline in it's natural habitat. In the wild, a cat eats almost exclusively animal tissue.
Tips For Keeping Your Pug Happy And Healthy
Bringing home a Pug can change our life, but it is also a big responsibility. When you become a Pug owner, it is up to you to make sure that your pet's needs are met including, proper care, a safe environment and lots of love! Caring for a dog is a commitment, but has many rewards.
Cat Lover Gifts
Among the most well known cat lover gifts are photo frames for the cat or cats in question. A majority of cat owners have more than one cat, and love to show off pictures of their "babies" to anyone willing to listen, gush over and admire the beauty of their feline friends.
Why Exotic Pets Should Not Be Banned
We all know how special interest groups can blow things out of proportion - like the nonexistent "Exotic Pet Crisis." If you listened to some animal rights groups, you'd think keeping exotic pets is cruel, dangerous, and even bordering on treason! Before you buy that agenda, consider that a junior high student once made a convincing case for banning dihydrogen monoxide: colorless, odorless, and tasteless, it kills thousands of people every year.
How to Litter Train a Cat
For most cat owners, training their cat to use the litter is a relatively painless process. It is among a cat's natural instincts to eliminate in an area that they can cover their feces in.
Natural Approaches to Dealing With Pesky Fleas
Problems with Commercial Flea Killers & TraditionalFlea Bite Treatments***Chemicals that act as poisons are strong enough tokill fleas, but the long term effects on pets areunknown, although they are probably not safe touse. (Employees manufacturing these products mustwear protective clothing and use respirators.
Dog Boutiques - Perfect Pampering for Your Pooch!
Believe it or not boutiques for dogs are everywhere. Nowadays, pampering your dog is just as important as pampering yourself.
Dog Trick To Cure A Nuisance Barker: Training Buddy to "Speak" on Command
All breeds and sizes of dogs can be taught easily to speak, and the way to go about it is to call your dog, show him a treat and say "Speak." He will not understand what you mean and will probably at first jump for it, and then sit down and eye it attentively; finally, he will get impatient and utter a sharp bark, which is what you have been waiting for, and the instant he does so reward him with the treat.
Helping Your Pets Cope With The Stress Caused By Loud Noise
Which is the noisiest species of all? Nope, not the lions, or the elephants, or the geese? it's us, humans. Our voices were not enough, we started making music and creating musical instruments to help us being louder.
Why Does My Cat Drink Dirty Water?
You know that cats should always have a supply of water, especially if you are feeding them dried food. There on your nice clean kitchen floor is a bowl of nice clean fresh water, in a nice clean bowl.
Clipper Experiments: A Tail in Two Parts
Poor Dog. Subjected to my most ambitious experiments, she still falls for the old line, "C'mon, Honey, it'll be FUN!" Grooming the Dog and Fun do not belong in the same sentence together.
When goldfish swim up to the glass of the tank, does it mean they are smart enough to recognize people?Goldfish sure are smart not in the sense as dogs are, but they are smart. They will swim up to meet you probably because they think you are going to feed them.
First Aid for Parrots
Unfortunately, accidents can - and DO happen, so it's always a good idea to be prepared! While accidents usually produce obvious injuries, illnesses are often kept well hidden by birds. In nature, if you're sick you pose a threat in making your whole flock vulnerable to predators, so parrots have become adept at masking signs of illness.
Canine Parvovirus, is a viral disease that attacks dogs and if left untreated, it kills them within day's, usually due to dehydration and it's side effects.Parvo is caused by a virus present in the faeces of infected dogs.
The Sporting Westie Terrier
Because it is intelligent and energetic, a Westie terrier is well suited for a number of dog events. Some competitions it might participate in are geared toward the Westie's natural instinct to hunt down prey and pursue it into its den.
Whats In Your Dog Food?
According to holistic veternarian Dr. Jane Bicks, the maximum life span of dogs is estimated to be around 25 to 30 years, yet the average dog generally lives no longer than about 13 to 14 years.
Breed Success in Your Puppy Search
The numbers will make any pet lover blanch with disgust, anger, and sadness. The Humane Society of the United States calculates that as many as 500,000 puppies every year are sold in pet shops, and that many of these pet shops buy their pets from the worst breeders-so-called puppy mills.
10 Questions Im Most Asked about Dogs in Heat
1. What is heat?Heat is more properly called the estrous cycle.
What You Should Know About Your Puppy And Play Biting
The main ways a puppy will play with another dog or puppy are chasing, wrestling, and biting.When your puppy eventually becomes separated from his littermates, he will most likely carry on his playful behavior with you and your family members.