How to Prevent Dog Dental Disease
It is estimated that up to 80% of pet dogs will develop dental disease in their lifetime. Considering how high this statistic is, learning how to prevent dental disease in dogs is extremely important for dog owners. So, how can you prevent dental disease in dogs, and what causes this condition?
Dental disease in dogs is caused by poor dental hygiene. As a result, taking care of your dog’s dental hygiene on a regular basis is the best way to prevent them from getting dental disease. The best way that you can do this is by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. Dental chews can be a decent way to do this as well.
In this article, we will be giving dog owners all of the best tips for preventing dental disease in dogs. We will also be explaining a bit more about dental disease in dogs such as what it is and what causes it in greater detail.
What is Dental Disease?
Dental disease is a bacterial infection in the mouth. Most of the time this infection exists in the gums. However, the infection can also spread to other places in and around the mouth such as teeth roots and the jawbone if left untreated.
What Causes Dental Disease in Dogs?
Most of the time dental disease in dogs occurs after extensive plaque and tartar buildup. When this plaque is not removed from the mouth regularly, the bacteria builds up and infects the mouth.
4 Ways to Prevent Dental Disease in Dogs
The best way to prevent dental disease in dogs is to keep up with their oral hygiene. There are four main ways that you can do this including brushing their teeth and using other dental hygiene products with your dog. Letting your dog chew on hard objects and taking them to the vet regularly can help prevent them from getting dental disease as well. Here are the four best ways to prevent dental disease in dogs.
1. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth is widely considered the best way to prevent dental disease in dogs according to veterinarians. When brushing your dog’s teeth, it is best to use a toothbrush made for dogs. This will help you reach all the places in your dog’s mouth better.
It is also crucial that you only use toothpaste made specifically for dogs as well. This is because toothpaste made for human use has ingredients that are toxic to dogs. It is also best to use toothpaste that has the VOHC seal of approval on it. This seal indicates that the toothpaste has been tested and proven to remove plaque and tartar from dog teeth.
2. Use Other Dental Hygiene Products With Your Dog
There are some other dental hygiene products that can help keep your dog’s teeth clean and prevent them from getting dental disease. These products include the following.
- Dental chews
- Dental supplements
- Dental cleaning wipes
- Dental water additives
Like doggy toothpaste, the VOHC seal of approval on these products indicates that they have been officially tested and proven to remove plaque and tartar from dog teeth.
3. Let Your Dog Chew On Hard Toys
Letting your dog chew on hard bones and chew toys will help loosen up plaque and remove it naturally. Though this is not necessarily as good as dental products for dogs, it is still better than nothing. It can also be a great thing to include in your dog’s routine in addition to using dental products to keep their teeth in good health.
4. Take Your Dog to Their Routine Vet Visits
Taking your dog to their routine vet visits can help prevent dental disease in dogs as well. This is because your vet will be able to point out early signs of dental disease if they notice them. Like most conditions, it is always best to treat dental disease in its early stages.
What are the Symptoms of Dental Disease in Dogs?
While prevention is always the best option when it comes to dental disease in dogs, it is still a good idea for dog owners to be aware of the symptoms of dental disease in dogs. Here are the most common symptoms of dental disease in dogs.
- Foul smelling breath
- Bleeding gums
- Having difficulty eating
- Favoring one side of the mouth when eating
- Red and swollen gums
- Showing signs of pain when eating, chewing, and having their mouth touched
- A receding gumline
- Loose or missing teeth
- Pus present in or around the mouth
- Excessive sneezing or sneezing fits
- No longer playing with toys with their mouth
- A sudden onset of withdrawn behavior
- A sudden onset of aggressive behavior
What Should You do if Your Dog is Already Showing Signs of Dental Disease?
The best thing that you can do if your dog is showing signs of dental disease is to take them to the vet. This way your vet can either diagnose your dog with dental disease or rule it out as the issue. Additionally, your vet will be able to determine what stage your dog’s dental disease is in and give you an effective treatment plan. Most of the time dental disease is treated through professional teeth cleanings and supportive care. Oral surgery may be required in extreme cases as well.
Is it Ever Too Late to Start Caring for Your Dog’s Dental Health?
It is never too late to start taking care of your dog’s dental health. Although it is best to prevent dental disease than need to treat it, it is always better to keep up with your dog’s dental hygiene even if it is later rather than sooner. Treating dental disease always shows better results when in the early stages, however, it is important to make an effort to take care of your dog’s teeth even after the later stages of dental disease has set in.
If you are looking for dog teeth cleaning near Clarion, PA, Clarion Animal Hospital is here to help. Our veterinarians can examine your dog’s teeth and determine the next steps in taking care of their dental health. Call us today at (814) 227-2603, or Request an Appointment Online!