Dental care for dogs
Dental problems in dogs are more common than people think. Although about 98% of veterinarians advise dog owners to brush their pet’s teeth, only about 2% of dog owners follow that advice. In addition, research has shown that 80% of dogs older than three years have dental problems, while only 23% of dog owners indicate that their four-legged friend has problems with the teeth.
Prevent dental problems in dogs
Dental problems in dogs are often caused by plaque and tartar in addition to trauma (for example, the breaking of teeth). Dental plaque is a barely visible layer that constantly forms on the teeth. It consists of food debris, mucus and bacteria. If not removed, plaque calcifies into tartar. You can help remove dental plaque yourself. Tartar can only be removed by your vet. Anyone who has ever seen or smelled a dog with dental problems knows how important it is to take good care of a dog’s teeth. If the dog’s teeth are neglected, the animal can even lose teeth. Much worse, your dog’s health is jeopardized by dental problems. Complaints can range from bad breath to tooth loss or even inflammation in important organs, such as the heart, kidneys and liver due to bacterial clots getting stuck in the small blood vessels.
Bad smell from your dog’s mouth is not normal
It is a persistent misconception that it is normal for a dog to have bad breath. If a dog persistently has bad breath, it could be a sign of a dental problem. To prevent this, it is important to take care of your dog’s teeth daily and have them checked regularly by your vet.
Brushing your dog’s teeth
Use toothbrushes and toothpaste specially developed for dogs, such as in the C.E.T. Dental Care Kit. The kinds of toothpaste often have a tasty meat taste, so that dogs do not refuse the toothpaste. If possible, start brushing your pet’s teeth early, preferably when a puppy is between 8 and 12 weeks old. If you start later, the dog needs more time to get used to getting its teeth brushed. Some pets never get used to it.
You don’t have to open your dog’s mouth all the way to brush. In most cases, it is sufficient to lift the lip and then clean all visible parts on the outside of the teeth. Also, the teeth uses for chewing and the inside of the teeth should not be forgotten. Some teeth and molars of the upper jaw help clean parts of teeth and molars in the lower jaw.
Dental care products for dogs
In addition to a toothbrush and toothpaste, there are various dental care products available that help care for your dog’s teeth:
- Chew sticks remove some of the plaque and tartar
- Supplements in the form of powders and liquids contain agents that soften plaque, making it easier to remove by brushing or chewing products. They also kill bacteria and provide fresh breath
- Almost all commercial animal food brands have a dental diet, specially developed for the care of the teeth
- Finally, there are also various toys available that contribute to the care of the teeth through their shape
Brushing is the best way to clean the teeth. If your dog won’t allow this, you can consider one of the other methods. It works best to combine and use multiple methods, such as brushing and one of the methods mentioned above. If in doubt, you should always consult your veterinarian to ask them to examine your dog’s teeth and indicate what your dog needs.
Do you have any questions about dental care for your dog? Please contact our veterinary team via firstname.lastname@example.org.