Many novice dog owners don’t realize just how important dental care is for their dog. Many people think that “Doggie breath” is a normal condition all dogs have without thinking twice about it. Bad breath is a result of poor dental hygiene and is definitely not a normal condition. Lack of dental care can result in serious health risks for your dog and you should really put some time into dealing with this aspect of dog ownership if you want to avoid potential health risks and even death in your dog. Gums and teeth that are allowed to degenerate into poor condition resulting from neglect can affect your dog’s digestive system and even cause death.
Just like with humans, dogs can develop all kinds of dental problems such as cavities and gingivitis (gum disease). Dogs that don’t receive any sort of dental care readily develop gingivitis. Signs of gingivitis include inflamed or bleeding gums. Tartar buildup and plaque can cause gingivitis in your dog and if left untreated infection gets into the blood stream and can cause serious health issues such as liver disease and renal failure.
Prevention is better than the cure and taking care of your dog’s teeth will prevent you having to deal with dangerous and costly surgery to treat secondary infections resulting from poor dental health. A regular dental regimen will ensure your dog’s teeth and gums remain healthy throughout his life. Your veterinarian should be able to recommend which products to use and can also teach you how to take care of your dog’s teeth and gums.
Providing your dog with chews and crunchy treats can also help keep your dog’s teeth tartar free. A large chunk of raw meat as the occasional treat will require your dog to chew extensively and will help prevent tartar buildup. Tough pieces of meat serve as a form of natural dental floss for your dog due to the connective tissue in them. And will help remove tartar from your dog’s teeth. If you are concerned about bacteria in raw meat, a quick 30 second dip in some boiling water should put your mind at ease.
Never use human toothpaste for cleaning your dog’s teeth as it can be harmful for him. There are a number of enzymatic toothpastes specially formulated for dogs that you can safely use. The great thing about these products is that they come in different taste choices that your dog will find palatable, making the whole experience less unpleasant for him. Your first attempts at cleaning your dog’s teeth should be short and as stress free as possible, keep in mind that this is a totally new experience for him and he may not be totally comfortable at first. Never lose your temper and praise your dog profusely and he should quickly become accustomed to having his teeth cleaned.
If you have neglected your dog’s dental hygiene for a while and you notice he has bad breath or tartar on the teeth, you should take him to the vet who will perform a professional cleaning, but you will have to follow up with regular brushing to maintain your dog’s fresh, clean teeth!
Source by Maria Donald