Have you ever stopped and given consideration to your dog’s oral health? Regardless of age or breed, oral health is an important issue to be aware of in any dog. Poor oral health in a dog can lead to infections, sore gums, teeth falling out, rotting tooth sockets, and more. Reports from vets state that about 85% of dogs who are over the age of four are currently suffering from some sort of periodontal disease.
Unfortunately, dogs’ mouths are somewhat of a breeding ground for bacteria, which means it’s very easy for things to spiral out of control. So, what can you do as a pet owner to help keep your dog’s oral health in check and prevent these painful issues from occurring? Here are some steps you can follow.
Schedule Regular Visits to the Vet
If you can’t remember the last time you took your dog to the vet for a routine check-up, chances are it’s well overdue. It is suggested that a normal, healthy dog, between the ages of one through ten, should be visiting the vet yearly for a check-up. Obviously, if the dog develops other health issues they would need even more regular checkups.
During the check-up, the vet will be able to take a look in their mouth and identify any potential problem areas. Some vets even have designated staff that deal with dog dentistry. Take, for example, the California Veterinary Specialists who have a dentist as part of the staff. What this means is that if there are problems, you can have them dealt with right there in the same office.
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Just like you brush your teeth, your dog needs that same attention and care. Many dog owners feel apprehensive about brushing their dog’s teeth and feel it won’t be an easy process. It will take some getting used to, but this is when reward treats can come in very handy. Once your dog realizes that it won’t hurt them, they may actually start to like it.
It’s a good idea to start out small and only brush for 30 seconds. You can build up over the course of a few weeks until you’re able to brush each side of their mouth for a couple of minutes, every other day.
Don’t Ignore Bad Breath
While you may just think it’s normal for your dog to have bad breath, in reality this can be a warning sign that something is going on with their oral health. It’s a good idea to take your pet into your vet and have them take a look.
Give Your Dog Food that Helps with Dental Health
Today, there are all kinds of food, treats, and toys that have been specially designed to help aid oral health. This can’t replace the act of brushing their teeth, but they can certainly be helpful to give. These products are typically used to help with tartar and plaque control.
All of these steps will help you to keep your dog’s oral health well under control.