Dental health is an essential aspect of overall health for both humans and animals, including dogs. Poor dental hygiene in dogs can lead to various health problems, including bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. It has always been a problem for both dog owners as well as veterinary practitioners.
Studies have found that in almost 80% of dogs over 2 years, Periodontal disease becomes a prevalent issue. The common explanation for this is attributed to the teeth being overcrowded, often caused by the abnormal positioning of teeth within smaller or shorter jaws. So, it is always important to take proper care of your pet's dental health to ensure their bright goofy smile is pain-free and protected forever.
Here are some simple tips and routines which you can follow to keep your pet's teeth and gums healthy.
1. BRUSH YOUR DOG'S TEETH REGULARLY
One of the most effective ways to keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy is by brushing their teeth regularly. A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry found that daily brushing reduced the accumulation of plaque by 70% and the development of gingivitis by 30%. It is recommended that you brush your dog's teeth at least two to three times a week.
When brushing your dog's teeth, use a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for dogs. Never use human toothpaste, as it can be harmful to dogs. You can also use dental wipes or dental chews to help keep your dog's teeth clean.
2. FEED YOUR DOG DENTAL-FRIENDLY FOOD
The food you feed your dog can also impact their dental health. Feeding your dog food that is high in sugar and carbohydrates can contribute to the formation of plaque and tartar on their teeth. On the other hand, providing your dog with dental-friendly food can help keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Dental-friendly food includes kibble that is specially formulated to promote dental health. These foods are designed to help scrub away plaque and tartar as your dog chews. A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry found that feeding dogs a dental diet reduced the severity of periodontal disease and gingivitis. While many people have a misconception that rawhide bones are good for a dog's dental health, it is something that needs to be strictly avoided as it's not safe for a dog's digestive health.
Also Read: 7 Ways To Care For Dogs With Weak Digestion
3. PROVIDE YOUR DOG WITH CHEW TOYS
Chew toys can also help keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy. Chewing on toys can help remove plaque and tartar from your dog's teeth. Additionally, chewing can help strengthen your dog's jaw muscles and reduce the risk of tooth fractures.
When selecting chew toys for your dog, choose ones that are designed for dental health. Look for toys that are made of durable materials and have ridges or bumps that can help clean your dog's teeth. A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry found that dogs that were given access to chew toys had less plaque and calculus than those that were not given chew toys.
While chew toys can be a great way to promote dental health in dogs, there are some important things for pet parents to keep in mind when giving them to their furry friends:
- Supervision - It's important to supervise your dog while they are chewing on toys to make sure they don't accidentally swallow any small pieces that could cause choking or gastrointestinal problems.
- Size - Make sure to choose a chew toy that is appropriate for the size of your dog. A toy that is too small could be a choking hazard, while a toy that is too big may be difficult for your dog to chew.
- Durability - Look for toys that are durable and able to withstand your dog's chewing habits. Toys that are too easily destroyed can also be a choking hazard or cause other health problems.
- Cleanliness - Keep your dog's chew toys clean to prevent the build-up of bacteria and other harmful substances. Use Petterati pet-safe disinfectant to clean your pet's toys regularly after washing them.
4. SCHEDULE REGULAR VETERINARY CHECK-UPS
Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for maintaining your dog's dental health. During these check-ups, your veterinarian will examine your dog's teeth and gums to identify any potential issues. They may also recommend a professional dental cleaning to remove any buildup of plaque and tartar.
It is recommended that dogs have a dental check-up at least once a year. However, if your dog has dental issues, your veterinarian may recommend more frequent check-ups.
5. AVOID GIVING YOUR DOG CERTAIN FOODS
Finally, it is important to avoid giving your dog certain foods that can be harmful to their dental health. Foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates can contribute to the formation of plaque and tartar on your dog's teeth. Additionally, some human foods can be toxic to dogs and can cause dental issues.
Some foods to avoid giving your dog include:
- Grapes and raisins
- Onions and garlic
- Xylitol (a sugar substitute)
Maintaining your dog's dental health is essential for its overall well-being. Regular brushing, dental-friendly food, chew toys, regular veterinary check-ups, and avoiding certain foods can all help keep your pet's teeth and gums healthy. By following these tips based on scientific research, you can help prevent dental disease in your furry friend and ensure they live a happy, healthy life.
Duval, J., et al. (2019). Effect of daily tooth brushing on periodontal health and gingival cytokine expression in dogs. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, 36(3), 183-190.
Gorrel, C., & Bierer, T. (2013). Periodontal disease in the dog and cat: pathogenesis, prevalence, and clinical signs. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, 30(2), 84-91.
Harvey, C. E., & Shofer, F. S. (1996). Periodontal disease in dogs: A cross-sectional survey of signs, symptoms, and risk factors. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 209(7), 1276-1279.
Lahti, S. J., & Cox, N. R. (2013). Dietary intervention and oral health in dogs. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, 30(3), 162-166.
Verstraete, F. J., et al. (2016). Periodontal disease in dogs and cats: introduction and aetiology. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, 33(2), 69-76.