Canine dental problems can lead to life-threatening infections such as heart, liver, and kidney disease. There are many options you have as a pet owner when it comes to caring for your dog’s dental hygiene.
You should brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. A double-headed canine toothbrush should get the job done. Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and clean right below the gum line. All dogs feel behave differently when getting their teeth brushed. Starting this practice when your dog is a puppy can make it much easier as they get older. Never use regular human toothpaste on your canine toothbrush. The fluoride is very poisonous to dogs. Most local pet stores carry toothpaste made specifically for dogs.
Let your dog chew on bones and toys designed to strengthen their gums and teeth. A good formulated bone can help get rid of buildup and keep teeth strong.
When giving your dog food, be picky about what kind of food and treats they consume on a regular basis. Dry dog food is always better than soft dog food. Soft food is more likely to stick to teeth and cause the enamel to break down.
It can be hard to judge whether or not your dog needs to get their teeth checked. A few common signs that indicate that your dog should see a vet for a dental exam are:
- Discolored teeth
- Change in eating habits
- Excessive drooling
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Growths inside the mouth
- Missing or crooked teeth
- Tartar buildup along the gum line
To ensure that your dog is as healthy as possible, you should take your dog to have their teeth checked by a professional every six to twelve months. A dental exam should be included in every normal checkup. In between veterinarian visits, you should be performing at-home dental checks on your dog as well.