A Complete Guide To Looking After Your Dog’s Teeth
Looking after your dog’s teeth is a key part of being a responsible dog owner. Unfortunately, some dog’s teeth get neglected, which causes all sorts of problems. You need to start caring for your dog’s teeth from a young age, so that their teeth stay in tip top condition as they get older. It’s also useful to get your dog used to having their teeth brushed and checked out when they are young, so that they are familiar with the process.
Just like us humans, dogs also need to look after their teeth throughout their life. If you don’t look after your dog’s teeth, they could suffer with painful issues later on in life. When humans get tooth ache or a tooth infection it can cause agony, and it is the same with dogs. Some dental problems are difficult to resolve, especially if a dog’s teeth haven’t been treated or checked for years.
It’s not a difficult process, you just need to clean their teeth on a regular basis and give them chews regularly to help scrape away any excess plaque. There are also a few other things you can do to prevent problems in the future. If you aren't sure how to look after your dog’s teeth, read on. This is our complete guide to looking after your dog’s teeth.
Why looking after your dog’s teeth is so important
Your dog’s dental health is a key part of their overall health and wellbeing. They need strong teeth so that they can eat and chew things properly. Poorly looked after teeth can cause them a lot of pain as they get old. A lack of dental hygiene can lead to lots of different health problems.
You may think that problems with your dog’s teeth are not that serious, but it can occasionally cause life threatening problems. An infected tooth can spread infection to other parts of the body, and affect the liver. If you don’t want your dog to develop potentially serious health problems as they get older, make sure you look after their teeth.
Poorly looked after teeth can also cost a lot of money to treat. Dogs with bad teeth sometimes need to be sedated while a vet removes the buildup of plaque from their teeth. This may not be covered on your insurance and could end up costing you a lot of money if it needs to be done regularly.
This procedure can cost around £200 or more. Insurance companies also often won’t pay out for dental problems unless you have had your dog’s teeth checked by a vet regularly.
Common canine dental problems
There are a few common dental problems that dogs suffer from. These include things like:
Gingivitis - This is a reversible inflammation of the gums where there is plaque buildup and mild redness on the gums. It’s often considered to be the early stages of periodontal disease.
Bad breath - Dogs with poor dental health will also often develop bad breath.
Mouth ulcers - When there is a buildup of plaque it can rub against a dog’s gums and cause ulcers.
Periodontal disease - provides a good explanation of periodontal disease ‘Periodontal disease is a series of changes that are associated with the inflammation and loss of the deep supporting structures of teeth. If gingivitis is left untreated, it will progress to periodontal disease which is irreversible. Food particles and bacteria collect along the gumline forming plaque.’
Toothache - Dogs can also get toothache, just like we do. This can be very uncomfortable for them and it is sometimes difficult to spot.
How to keep your dog’s teeth clean
Here are some of the things you need to do if you want to keep your dog’s teeth clean:
- Brush regularly
- Check their teeth regularly
- Give them plenty of things to chew on
- Go to the vet for regular checkups
- Feed your dog a high quality diet
- Buy them products and treats that are good for their teeth
- Use fresh breath sprays
Canine dental products
Thankfully, there are many different dental products designed specifically for dogs. These products can help to maintain dental health. Here at GJWtitmuss, we have a special section on our website dedicated to dental products. Some of the dental products you can get for your dog include:
- Dental chews
- Rawhide bones
- Dental treats
- Antlers (for dogs to chew on)
- Dental Kongs
- Dog dental kit with toothbrush and toothpaste
Managing bad breath
Most dogs don’t have great smelling breath, but some dogs can develop particularly bad breath. It can sometimes be a sign of an underlying condition, so if your dog suddenly gets bad breath, take them to the vet straight away.
You can prevent bad breath by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. There are also some fresh breath sprays and gels you can use to keep your dog’s breath smelling fresh and minty.
Cleaning your dog’s teeth
If you aren't sure how to clean your dog’s teeth, read our article that explains how. You will need to get your dog to lay down on the floor as it is easier to brush their teeth this way. Put some dog friendly toothpaste on toothbrush and gently pull open their lip with one hand and hold their muzzle with the other. Brush your dog’s teeth along the gum line, working from the back of their mouth to the front. .
Regular check ups
It’s important to book your dog in to have regular dental checkups at the vet. Ask your insurance company and vet how often they recommend, this will depend on your dog’s age and the quality of their teeth. By going to the vet and getting their teeth checked, you can spot any problems early and get them treated.
Avoid bad foods
Be mindful of what you are feeding your dog, as this can make a difference to their dental health. Avoid foods that are difficult for them to chew or swallow as food can build up in their mouth. Go for a high quality dog food that includes ingredients that are beneficial to your dog’s teeth. Avoid foods with high sugar content and feed your dog a healthy diet.