Dental hygiene is an important, yet often overlooked aspect when it comes to the overall health of a dog. More so because 80% of the dog population shows signs of periodontal disease (gum disease) by the age of three. This occurs due to poor dental hygiene which results in plaque and tartar build-up over time. Even gingivitis and inflammation can lead to serious dental illness. However, it’s not always about stained teeth and bad breath when it comes to dogs.
Besides poor dental hygiene and gum disease, bad breath can have various underlying causes. Kidney disease, liver disease and diabetes can all cause bad breath in dogs. Even gastrointestinal issues such as acid reflux and indigestion may cause bad breath. Always remember to consult your vet if you notice a persistent odour from your dog’s breath.
Whether it is taking care of your pooch’s teeth or simply managing bad breath, here are a few tips on dental care for dogs that you should keep in mind…
As a pet parent, you must know that brushing your dog’s teeth matters the most when it comes to dog dental care. The most effective way to prevent plaque accumulation is to brush your dog’s teeth at least 3 times a week. Ensure that you inculcate this habit from puppyhood as it is easiest to train dogs at this stage. Also, make sure to use a toothbrush and toothpaste that is specially designed for dogs.
Feeding the right diet
What you feed your dog can directly affect its oral health. Not only is homemade food nutritionally inadequate, it is also not the best for your dog’s teeth. The soft texture of some homemade foods does not allow for plaque removal or massaging of the gums. Usually, some sort of crunch is necessary to remove the plaque near the tops of a dog’s teeth. Dry kibble like Pedigree dog food is nutritionally balanced and can also clean your dog’s teeth to keep bad breath at bay.
Another effective way to control plaque and tartar build-up is with dog chew sticks or chewy dog treats that are specifically formulated for dog dental care. For daily oral care for your dog, a good example is Pedigree Dentastix. Pedigree Dentastix is an X-shaped dog treat that is specially designed with a gently abrasive texture to clean teeth that are hard to reach and support gum health. It is also scientifically proven to help reduce the build-up of tartar by 80%. To make treating and cleaning teeth a regular habit, Pedigree Dentastix now also comes in a pack of 3 sticks. Dentastix must be fed every day for prevention of plaque or tartar
There are various toys on the market that are designed specifically for dog dental care. Toys like dental chew bones, molar cleaning sticks and toothbrush sticks are a great way to keep your pooch’s teeth clean and mind engaged at the same time. Consult your vet for a right product
Regular dental check-ups
You should also get your pooch’s teeth cleaned by a professional veterinarian at least twice a year. This will help you mitigate any major infection and keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Keeping your dog’s bad breath or dental hygiene in check is possible with the tips shared above. However, identifying if your dog is suffering from a dental condition can be tough, especially in the early stages. Make sure to look closely at your pooch’s chewing/eating habits to understand its body language. This will make it easy to recognise if it is experiencing any discomfort when it eats. You should consult your veterinarian immediately if you notice a change in eating patterns or behaviour.