Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean in Canton, GA with These 5 Tips
Dog teeth cleaning is one of the most important, yet easily forgotten pieces of caring for your dog. There have been studies that show that 80% of dogs have periodontal disease by age three. Age three! That means that out of the almost 90 million dogs in the United States, 72 million have some form of periodontal disease. If this tells us anything, it’s that we need to start taking care of our dog’s teeth.
If 80% of dogs have periodontal disease, can it be that bad? There are many levels of periodontal disease. However, when it gets severe, it can lead to heart, kidney, or liver disease which are all serious. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque and tartar building up on the teeth and gums. As the bacteria spreads, it will cause decay in the teeth and gums. As the decay gets worse, it can lead to tooth loss and diseases. If the oral issues get so bad that they do lead to kidney, heart, or liver disease, it could be fatal for your pup.
Professional Dog Teeth Cleanings
Now that we’ve established how bad periodontal and oral disease can be, let’s talk about how to fix it. If you’ve never brushed your dog’s teeth and he’s 3 or older, you should take him in to the veterinarian and have his teeth checked by a professional. Your vet may advise that the best place to start is with a deep cleaning by them. During a deep cleaning, your dog will be put under anesthesia and his teeth will be cleaned just like when we humans go to the dentist. Of particular importance is the evaluation of the structures under the gum line with dental x-rays, which often detects hidden causes of pain and infection such as a tooth root abscess.
Gather Dog Teeth Cleaning Tools
If you’re getting a new puppy or your vet has checked your dog’s teeth and says they aren’t bad, then you just need to start a brushing routine. You’ll need to get dog specific toothpaste. They have some really tasty flavors for you and your dog to choose from like peanut butter and chicken flavor. You will also need something to brush their teeth with. You can either use a dog toothbrush or a soft bristled kid’s toothbrush. If your dog doesn’t like the sensation of a brush in his mouth, you could get one of the little rubber ones that has bristles and slides over your finger. Wrapping a piece of cheese cloth dipped in toothpaste around your finger can really help with some of the smaller dogs and makes it easier to maneuver around the teeth.
Create a Dog Teeth Cleaning Routine
Once you have all the tools, it’s time to start regularly brushing. So how often should you really be brushing your dog’s teeth? To benefit the teeth and slow down tartar buildup, daily brushing or another form of dental care such as rinsing and using approved dental chews is needed. This is even more true for small breed dogs like Yorkies or for dogs that eat a wet food only diet. These are additional risk factors for periodontal disease. It might also be beneficial for you to schedule a professional dog teeth cleaning every year with your vet to make sure that your dog’s teeth can get back to zero. While small breed dogs should have their teeth cleaned and evaluated by your vet yearly starting at about 2-3 years old, some larger breed dogs can have their teeth cleaned and evaluated every other year.
Let Them Chew Toys
There are a few things you can do additional to brushing that will help with oral care. Toys like a Kong are good to hide toothpaste or special tooth-cleaning treats in. Treats like Greenies Canine Dental Chews are great for maintaining your dog’s oral health. You could also provide a rawhide bone, but be very cautious with these as dog’s can harm themselves with rawhide. As soon as it gets soft, take it away from your dog. There are other chew toys with ridges or bristles that remove plaque and tartar as your dog chews. This is a win win for oral care and keeping your dog occupied and out of trouble.
Find the Best Dental Chews and Treats for Your Pet
Be wary of over-the-counter dental products marketed as “natural.” Many of the products that are offered over the counter and promoted as natural do not contribute to cleaner, healthier mouths for dogs and cats. In fact, many of these products are high in calories and contribute to pet obesity. To best benefit your pet’s oral health and overall health, we recommend only choosing dental products that are approved and endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). The VOHC has overseen studies which prove that the products they endorse are truly beneficial to a pet’s teeth and gums. Ask your veterinarian for product recommendations and be sure to look for the “Veterinary Oral Health Council Accepted” label on the packaging. Use the links below to see which products the VOHC recommends for dogs and cats.
Talk with Your Vet About Dog Teeth Cleanings in Canton, GA
Oral health is so important for your dog. Make sure to brush your dog’s teeth a few times a week to keep the chances of periodontal disease down. Call (770) 479-7141 and talk to your vet at Riverstone Animal Hospital about what’s right for you and your dog in order to keep him happy and healthy for as long as possible.