Dental disease is a common problem for dogs. In fact, dental disease is the most common ailment diagnosed by veterinarians, with the majority of dogs over 4-5 years suffering some degree of dental disease. Even young puppies are not immune. Fortunately, proper oral health care can significantly reduce or even eliminate dental disease. Unfortunately though, dog owners and veterinarians alike frequently overlook oral health.
Dental disease can cause your dog to lose teeth, can cause significant pain, and can also cause even more serious health issues, such as kidney disease or heart disease.
What is the best way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy? The gold standard for at-home dental care is brushing. When brushing your dog’s teeth, always use toothpaste that is made specifically for dogs. Human toothpaste can be dangerous if swallowed by your dog. Specialized brushes are also made for dogs and make the job of brushing a bit easier.
Most dogs can be taught to accept having their teeth brushed with a little time and patience on your part. But what about those that will not? Is there an alternative? Of course. In fact, there are several. Even if your dog does allow you to brush his teeth, you may still want to consider using some of these alternate products in addition to brushing.
There are a number of dentrifices that are specifically designed to help keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy. Some are treats or chewies that your dog can enjoy. Others are toys that are made in such a fashion that they work to "clean" the teeth while your dog is chewing on and playing with them. Just be certain to purchase a breed-appropriate product. A chewie or toy made for a small dog may pose a choking hazard for a large-breed dog. Conversely, products made for large dogs may be too large for small breeds to be able to use effectively.
For the complete blog on dental hygiene for dogs, visit petMD!