Your dog’s oral health has greater implications than fresh breath. Indeed, proper oral care including regular brushing and access to chew toys can help your dog enjoy a long and healthy life. Many dogs already show signs of gum disease within the first five years of life. Fortunately, gum disease is entirely preventable and relies simply on proper oral care. Let’s take a moment to identify oral health problems and then proper oral hygiene for your dog.
Signs of Poor Oral Health
One of the first signs that your dog’s teeth and gums need attention is bad breath. Normal dog’s breath isn’t minty fresh, but if you notice an especially foul odor you need to take action. As your dog’s mouth health deteriorates, other serious problems including loss of appetite, vomiting, excessive drinking or urinating may develop. If your dog is already showing these signs, you should visit your veterinarian immediately.
Other symptoms of mouth or gastrointestinal disease (that should be checked by a veterinarian) include:
· Inflamed gums
· Drooling excessively
· Cysts or tumors under the tongue or in the gums
· Loose teeth
You should also inspect your dog’s lips as they are a key indicator of oral health. Your dog’s gums should be pink, but if they are white or red or show signs of swelling, visit your veterinarian.
Preventing Tooth Decay
As with humans, bacteria cause the formation of plaque on a dog’s teeth. Eventually, the plaque will harden into tartar which eventually leads to gingivitis, gum disease, and tooth loss. Regular cleanings by a veterinarian in combination with regular home 貓流感 brushings prevents receding gums and tooth decay.
So, you should get yourself a canine tooth-brushing kit from your or your veterinarian. Your veterinarian should be able to recommend an appropriate toothpaste for your dog, or you can make tooth paste from baking soda and water. Fluoride-treated tooth paste should never be used for dogs under the age of six months, and human toothpaste should not be used for any dog.
Here are some brushing tips to make the process easier for you and your canine friend:
· Ask your veterinarian to evaluate your dog’s teeth to check for inflammation of the gums and lips. Inflamed gums may make brushing uncomfortable, so you’ll want to be gentler with your dog.
· Gradually introduce brush to your dog’s grooming practices. Start by rubbing your dog’s lips with one figure in a circular motion for approximately 60 seconds. Try this once or twice a day for a few weeks and then progress to the teeth and gums.
· As your dog becomes more comfortable, introduce toothpaste by applying a small amount to the lips so your dog can become accustomed to the taste.
· Now you’re ready to introduce the toothbrush, by gently rubbing your dog’s teeth and gums.