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 Dog Dental Products designed specifically for dogs. These products can help to maintain dental health. Here at Time for Paws, 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 Kong
- 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.
Cleaning your dog's teeth
Making sure you keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy is essential to their overall wellbeing. Dogs use their mouth's for many things other than eating including carrying items, playing with Toys etc, so ensuring they have a healthy mouth is essential. Making sure bacteria doesn't sit in your dog's mouth can reduce the onset of illness and disease. Furthermore vets bills can be very high if dentistry work is needed.
It is almost guaranteed that your dog will build up a little plaque and develop a little discoloration but this is ok as long as you keep this under control. Plaque is a soft deposit that forms on the teeth and below the gum line after eating, which can cause periodontal disease and even tooth loss. This actually becomes tartar when minerals in dog's saliva interact with it, this then has to be scraped away. However these problems can be reduced by proper dental care measures.
It may seem a little silly but brushing your dog's teeth can really improve overall oral health. There are lots of toothbrushes and toothpastes for dogs on the market. Dog toothbrushes are specially designed for a dog's mouth in mind, with the majority of brushes being dual sided allowing better cleaning. You can also buy finger fitting ones which allow greater dexterity. In terms of toothpaste, it is better not to use human toothpaste as dog toothpastes are usually meat flavored and better accepted by dogs. They also have the correct ingredients to improve your dog's teeth.
In terms of brushing, it is a good idea to brush all your dogs' teeth in one session. It is best to place a small amount of paste on the brush and gently lift your dog's gums to present the front teeth. You'll then want to gradually work your way to the back of your dog's mouth until you have brushed all your dogs' teeth. The only thing left to do is make sure your dog has access to a drink of water afterwards.
The majority of the dry dog-foods on the market today contain ingredients to help reduce plaque. You can also buy treats such a Pedigree Dentastix which are designed to reduce Tatar by up to 80%. Another option is to buy dental dog toys. These toys are designed with special groves which help reduce pet food debris and plaque.
It's best to get your dog's teeth checked annually by a vet. Your vet will be able to examine the state of your dog's teeth and spot any potential problems. They will also be able to offer a professional clean. Making sure you look after your dog's teeth will go a long way to ensuring overall health and vitality.
How To Clean Your Dog’s Teeth
Owning a dog comes with certain responsibilities and one of these is having to clean their teeth. Yes, dogs need to have their teeth cleaned with a toothbrush just like humans do. If you don’t look after your dog’s teeth they can become decayed, build up excess plaque and even cause a serious infection. They can also develop very bad breath and yellow teeth. Dogs can develop similar dental problems to humans such as cavities.
Starting cleaning your dog’s teeth from a young age to keep their teeth in good condition and get them used to the process. Some dogs may not enjoy having their teeth cleaned at first, but if you are gentle and use a tasty doggy toothpaste they should come around. Never use human toothpaste as it contains ingredients that are poisonous to dogs. You can buy special dog that has appealing ingredients to entice your dog into having their teeth cleaned. You will also need a special dog toothbrush that is specially designed to clean dog’s teeth
If your dog suddenly develops really bad breath then it’s likely they have problems with their teeth. Products such as fresh breath spray can help, but they are only a temporary solution. Breath spray will improve your dog’s breath but it probably won’t get rid of the problem. You need to take care of their teeth. Other ways you can help to improve your dog’s dental hygiene include getting them chews and Toys that will naturally clean their teeth. Click here to view our range of dental care products.
Don’t try and clean their teeth when they are full of energy. Take them for a nice long walk first so that they are more relaxed and likely to keep still. If you are brushing their teeth for the first time don’t overdo it. If they don’t like it much just try and do a little bit and build up their confidence over time. Give them a treat afterwards so that they develop a positive association with the experience of having their teeth cleaned.
Looking After Your Dogs Teeth
You can tell the age of a dog just by looking at their teeth. However, dental hygiene is something that is often forgotten when it comes to dogs. Neglecting your dog's teeth can lead to plaque and gum infections, which will make life very uncomfortable for your pooch. Their teeth will need more care and attention as they get older, young pups usually have pink gums and bright white teeth. Keeping your dog's teeth clean isn't as hard as you might think. There are a few simple steps to making sure your dog has healthy looking teeth. Here are some of the things you can do.
Bones and hide dog chews are an excellent way of naturally cleaning your dog's teeth. Buy them some bones and things that they can chew on a regular basis. This not only helps improve the condition of their teeth but it will keep them occupied for a short while. Dogs love to chew things, if you give them a bone they are less likely to chew your sofa!
Believe it or not dogs also benefit from having their teeth brushed regularly. It clears some of the debris and plaque stuck in their teeth and keeps their breath smelling fresh. You will need to get your dog used to having their teeth brushed from an early age so that they are not overwhelmed by the experience. You can get meat flavour toothpaste to try and tempt your dog and turn teeth cleaning into a positive experience.
Fresh Breath Products
There are lots of different fresh breath products on the market designed specifically for dogs. If your dog is suffering with bad breath or plaque then try a fresh breath product. You can get gels, sprays and powders that you can put in your dogs food.
Diet can also have a significant impact on the health of your dog’s teeth. Try and feed your dog a high-quality dog food that is low in sugar, fat and anything artificial. Check the labels of the treats you are giving your dog to make sure they are made from quality ingredients as some dog treats can be bad for their teeth.
Regular Check Ups
When you take your dog for a checkup at the vets ask them to check their teeth. They will prescribe something if they feel your dog’s teeth need it, or give you helpful dietary advice. You can also check your dog's teeth regularly. Look for any signs of sore gums, bleeding gums or excessive plaque buildup.
Here are some further tips for cleaning your dog’s teeth:
- Put the toothpaste on the toothbrush and rub it into the bristles.
- Get your dog to lay down on the floor or if they are comfortable enough get them to sit in your lap.
- Hold onto their muzzle with one hand and gently open their lip with the other.
- Gently put the brush on your dog’s teeth and begin brushing at the gum line.
- Begin with their back teeth and work your way to their front teeth once you know they are OK with the process.
- Don’t force your dog to have their teeth cleaned if they are clearly very stressed. Stop and try again another time.
- If your dog is in pain, refuses to have their teeth clean or displays any signs of aggression do not clean their teeth. Take them to your vet and ask them what needs to be done.
How To Help Dogs With Sensitive Teeth
Does your pooch sometimes get sore teeth? Dogs can have sensitive teeth just like we do, which means you need to consider the type of food you give them and try and do things to improve their dental hygiene.
And as dogs get older, their teeth may not stay in tip top condition like when they were pups. They may have a few dental issues as they become more mature, and owners need to keep this in mind.
Here’s how you can help your dog with sensitive teeth…
Regular vet checkups
If your dog suddenly gets sore teeth, it could be a sign of more complex issues. It’s always worth taking your dog to the vet to get their teeth checked out. Also, some insurance companies such as Petplan require you to get your dog’s teeth checked every year to keep them covered for any dental related issues. So the next time you pop to the vet, just ask them to give your dog’s teeth a once over.
Go for softer food
Dogs are smart, and often when they have sore teeth they won’t eat certain foods. Avoid tough crunchy kibble that might rub against their gums and cause discomfort. Instead try a wet dog food which will be much easier for them to chew. Another option is to soak dry dog food in water before you feed it to your pooch so that it softens.
Take care with your choice of toys
Don’t go for toys that may irritate their teeth or cause further discomfort. Go for dental friendly toys and keep an eye on your dog when you try a new toy to see whether it’s causing them any pain to chew on.
Dental chews for healthy teeth
You can get lots of chews for dogs that are specifically made to improve their dental hygiene and help keep their teeth in good condition. Avoid the harder dental chews and go for softer ones or treats such as greenies dental dog treats.
Brush their teeth
Ask your vet whether you should still brush your dog’s teeth and how regularly. Make sure you’re super gentle when you do it and use a toothbrush that’s designed for dogs like this beaphar dog toothbrush. Finger toothbrushes can also be quite good for dogs with sensitive teeth because you’ve got more control over the pressure and they are a little gentler.
Check your dog’s teeth
As well as going to the vet when needed, make sure you check your dog’s teeth every few days to make sure they aren’t getting worse. This will help you pick up on things and realise when they need treatment.
Looking for some dental care products for your dog? We’ve got a fantastic selection from fresh breath sprays to chews and toothbrushes. Take a look here.