Top tips for healthy teeth
One in every eight dogs in the UK suffers from dental disease every year, with gum and tooth disease being the most common health issue for Britain’s dogs. Entovegan dog food brand, Percuro have shared their top tips on how to keep your pooch’s teeth pearly white and how to tell when it may be time to visit a vet.
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
Just like with your own teeth, the best way to ensure healthy teeth and gums in your dog and prevent plaque build-up is to introduce regular brushing as part of their routine. Thankfully you won’t need to brush them every day, although as with most things the more you can do the better.
Most dogs will be a little unsure to begin with, but there are a number of ways you can try to make the process a little easier for both you and your pooch. For example, a lot of dog toothpastes come in chicken or peanut butter flavour and you can also buy special brushes that go over your fingertip which some dogs may find more comfortable (and looks less like a chew toy) than a typical toothbrush.
It is best to start this practice as early as possible, and sometimes it may take a little perseverance and experimentation before you can get into a solid routine.
The Importance of Diet
Not all dog foods have the same ingredients, and just like our own food some products can be high in sugars and other additives that can contribute to dental problems. Which is why researching which brand and even type of food you give your pooch is always best practice.
Dry food is generally considered to be better than soft or wet, partly because the abrasiveness of biscuits can provide a natural cleaning of teeth.
However, dog food has come a long way over recent years and there are now a myriad of different diets for owners to consider including the likes of raw or even alternative-protein brands.
Dogs love to chew, whether it be on your slippers or a tasty treat, but it turns out that chewing can actually be pretty beneficial for your pup’s oral hygiene. And that’s because the natural act of gnawing on something can help scrape away potential plaque build-up.
But just as with choosing the right diet, not all chew toys or treats are good for dogs. Although incredibly popular rawhide chews have been linked to a number of incidents requiring surgery and sometimes even pet death.
Natural is always best, and the same holds true with dog chews. Uncooked bones or other natural treats such as water buffalo horn or deer antlers can be ideal for helping to remove plaque but remember all treats and chews should be given while supervised and it’s worth remembering some harder chews can actually cause tooth damage in smaller breeds or on weaker teeth.
Pay A Professional
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your pet’s teeth is to book them in for a professional cleaning by a vet. Vets are trained in what’s best for your dog’s teeth and will be able to address any issues they find.
And although this option is a little more expensive than some of the others, vets are professionals meaning they can often spot issues that might go unnoticed by even the most dedicated dog owner.
When To See A Vet
Whether you brush your dog’s teeth or not, experts say you should have a look inside their mouth every week or so, to give yourself the best chance of catching any symptoms of dental disease early.
If you notice any of the below signs of dental problems, then it may be time to take your dog to the vet:
- Bad breath
- Blood on their toys
- Change in eating or dog chewing habits
- Pawing at the face or mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Misaligned or missing teeth
- Favouring one side of their mouth when eating or chewing
- Discoloured, broken, missing or crooked teeth
- Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
- Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
- Bumps or growths within the mouth
This is a guest essay by Percuro.