Taking care of your pooch’s pearly whites should be a part of your overall health plan for your four-legged friend. Be proactive with your dog’s oral hygiene and you may avoid health issues. Following are some basic tips to ensure you stay on top of your dog’s dental health throughout each stage of life.
1.The Breath and Lip Tests
- Sniff your pooch’s breath about once a week. It’s completely normal for dogs to have average breath, but it is a red flag if the breath is really offensive. Bad breath may be a sign of bacteria growing from food residue or build up of plaque. Consistent bad breath may also signal digestive problems. It is best to bring your dog to veterinarian for further review.
- On a weekly basis, examine your dog’s lips. Start with your dog facing you and lift his lips and look at his gums and teeth. The gums should be pink, not white or red, and there should be no swelling. The teeth should be clean and there should be no brownish tarter build up.
2.Brush your Dog’s Teeth
- Before you start brushing, make your dog comfortable with the technique. Start with massaging her lips with your fingers a few times a day for about a minute and move on to her teeth and gums. When your dog is comfortable, start placing dog toothpaste or a baking soda & water solution on her lips to get her accustomed to the taste.
- Move onto using a dog toothbrush or clean piece of gauze and brush her gums and teeth gently.
- Brushing gently, use a 45-degree angle and start with small circular motions one section at a time. Once your dog is comfortable with your brushing technique, try to brush about twice a week.
3.Mouth Disorders to Monitor
- Periodontal disease (infections between teeth and gums) is indicated by loose teeth, bad breath, pain, sneezing and nasal discharge.
- Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums caused by tartar, plaque and bacteria) is indicated by bleeding, red, swollen gums and bad breath.
- Halitosis (bad breath) is normally your first clue there is an oral or digestive problem happening with your pooch.
- Gum disease, tumors, salivary cysts and canine distemper teeth (gums growing over teeth, lumps in the gums and large fluid blisters are indicators) should be treated with antibiotics, consultation for surgical removal by your vet and drainage.
4. Toys for Teeth
Many chew toys are available to help keep your pooch’s teeth strong and keep plaque and tarter build-up from happening. Chew toys can be nylon, rubber or rawhide. These chew toys are also great for entertaining your pooch as well.