Imagine if you went your whole life without ever brushing your teeth or going to the dentist. Now also imagine that you licked your own butt. Welcome to your dog’s life if you don’t take proper care of his or her dental needs. Just like humans, your dog can get plaque build-up, periodontal disease, bad breath, and more. Scheduling regular dog teeth cleanings and brushing your pet’s chompers nightly can greatly reduce the chances of any oral diseases or dental problems.
Prevent Dental Problems for Your Dog
Dental care is one of the most commonly overlooked tasks of owning a dog. In fact, “doggy breath” is not normal! If you’re noticing this in your pet, it’s a sign of bacteria growth and it means your dog needs dental attention.
As much as 80 percent of dogs three years and older have periodontal disease—this causes inflammation of the gums, the structures that support the teeth, the periodontal ligament, and the cementum (the bone-like connective tissue covering the root of a tooth), not to mention bad breath, too. Oral diseases can be very painful for your dog and cause him or her to prefer softer foods and toys, and possibly stop chewing altogether—resulting in food being swallowed whole and subsequently regurgitated.
So what can you do to help prevent these dental problems for your dog? There are two major things you should do:
- Schedule a dog teeth cleaning annually – Routine dog teeth cleanings are vital for the overall health and well-being of your furry friend. During an annual cleaning, one of the professional veterinarians at Germantown Vet will remove tartar to help whiten your dog’s teeth, improve his or her breath, and help prevent oral diseases. We will also be able to check for any abnormalities in your pet’s teeth or gums and detect any dental problems. In addition to that, we can take dental x-rays for your pet, meaning we can evaluate the 50 percent of the tooth that can’t be seen with the naked eye. This allows us to check for painful abscesses and fractures.
- Brush your dog’s teeth every day – Brushing your dog’s teeth should be just as important as grooming and clipping nails. It’s easy to work brushing your dog’s teeth into your daily routine, and it only takes an extra two minutes—when you’re getting ready for bed and brushing your teeth, just brush your dog’s right after. It makes it a simple bedtime routine that your pet can get used to. Make sure to get a soft toothbrush and toothpaste made for canines.
But My Dog Doesn’t Like Having His Teeth Brushed!
Unless you have been brushing your dog’s teeth since his adult teeth came in, it’s very possible that he or she will not enjoy having their teeth brushed at first. Start by using a command for every time you’re about to do anything with your dog’s mouth, such as “teeth.” Use the command, then lift up your dog’s top lip and inspect his or her teeth. Try touching his or her teeth and moving your fingers around, and give lots and lots of praise. It will get your dog more comfortable with his or her teeth being touched.
When you purchase a toothbrush for your dog, you have the option of choosing a standard toothbrush or a finger brush—feel free to try both and use whatever your dog is more comfortable with. Apply a small amount of veterinarian-approved dog toothpaste to the brush and start slowly. Let you dog taste the toothpaste and calmly start brushing his or her teeth—you don’t want this to be a stressful situation for you or the dog. And don’t forget to use your “teeth” command (or whatever word you’ve chosen).
If you need more help learning how to brush your dog’s teeth or make the process easier, simply call Germantown Vet!
Schedule Your Annual Dog Teeth Cleaning
Is your dog due for a teeth cleaning? Or has he or she never had one? Call Germantown Vet today to schedule you dog teeth cleaning today! Out state-of-the-art facility provides dental x-rays as well as full cleanings to ensure the health and well-being of your dog. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!