Keep Your Dog Smiling With Preventative Dog Dental
What should pet owners know about dog dental care
and periodontal disease?
An important aspect of the good dog dental care is
proper dental hygiene. One of the most common
ailments treated by veterinarians is periodontal or
gum disease. Gum disease is progressive. It starts
out with the formation of plaque, a sticky bacterial
film that forms in the mouth at the gum line. If not
removed plaque will harden into tartar above and
below the gum line. This build up causes the gums to
become red and swollen, a condition known as
If gingivitis is left untreated it can lead to
advanced gum disease. Red swollen gums will begin to
recede as the infection travels down into the root
of the tooth and the jawbone. Once the gums have
receded the damage is irreversible and the gums will
not grow back. This is known as periodontal disease
and results in loss of bone and loss of teeth. At
this advanced stage the bacteria from the oral
infection may now enter the bloodstream. This can
lead to more serious problems such as heart, liver
and kidney disease. These conditions if left
untreated can eventually become life threatening.
These problems can also be prevented by implementing
a good dog dental care routine.
Why should I routinely inspect my dog's mouth?
By two or three years of age many pets start to show
signs of oral disease. By implementing a home dog
dental care routine you can assure that your dog's
mouth stays healthy, clean and pain free. Start by
routinely inspecting your dog's mouth. A healthy
mouth will not smell offensive. The teeth will be
clean and will not have any yellow or brown spots.
The gums will be a healthy pink color and will hug
What are the signs of gum disease in dogs?
Persistent bad breath, brownish deposits around the
gum line, especially on back teeth, red swollen
gums, loose teeth, painful and or bleeding gums are
all indicators of oral disease. Although bad breath
or "doggy breath" is the most obvious sign of a
problem, many pet owners fail to recognize it as an
indicator of dental problems until it's too late. As
part of a good dog dental care routine check your
dog's mouth at the slightest sign of a persistent
offensive odor. Other indications can be decreased
appetite and weight loss, a change in chewing
habits, lethargy, and pawing of the mouth or the
What should I do if my dog's mouth shows signs of
Dog dental care starts by checking your dog's mouth
regularly. If you see any of these signs call your
vet to schedule a dental exam. Your dog may just
need a routine cleaning. The cleaning process is
performed under general anesthesia. If the condition
is minor, it's not much different than a dental
cleaning that you or I would have done. Your dog's
teeth will be scaled to remove tartar above and
below the gum line and then they will be polished.
Since your dog can't rinse and spit the mouth area
will be flushed to clear it of any loosened debris.
If the condition is more serious your vet may need
to administer an antibiotic to clear up any gum
infection before cleaning your dog's teeth. Blood
work will usually be taken so that your vet can
determine if the infection has spread into the
bloodstream. If the disease is in the advanced
stages your vet may also need to extract some teeth.
Whatever the outcome, your dog is sure to feel a lot
better after receiving some much needed dog dental
Remember to regularly inspect your pet's mouth,
schedule periodic dental check ups, and perform
routine home dental care.
How important is home dog dental care?
Regular cleanings by your vet followed up by a home
dental care program can help keep your dog's mouth
healthy and disease free. Even if your dog's teeth
are currently in good condition a preventative home
dental care routine is essential to your dog's
health. If not regularly removed, plaque and tartar
build up can progress very quickly into full blown
If you're new to dog dental care ask your vet to
show you how to brush your dog's teeth. Also find
out if there is anything else that your vet would
recommend adding to your dog's preventative home
dental care routine.
One recommendation is to entice your dog to chew.
Daily chewing exercises will help remove food debris
and prevent tartar build up. They're also great for
relieving boredom and separation anxiety. So put
your pet to work. Give your dog plenty of fun and
yummy real bones, dental dog chew toys, and edible
dog chews as part of your home dog dental care
Do I need to brush my dog's teeth?
The most direct method of preventative dog dental
care is brushing your dog's teeth regularly. Vets
usually recommend that you brush your dog's teeth at
least two times a week. If your dog is prone to
dental disease you may need to do this more often.
What should I use to brush my dog's teeth?
If you have a young puppy introducing a tooth
brushing routine will probably be much easier then
if you have an adult dog. In either case start slow,
keep the sessions short, and be very gentle while
working in your dog's mouth. Use lots of praise and
reassurance to reinforce good behavior. You will not
want to give your dog treats during this task for
Since a dog will swallow whatever you use never
brush your dog's teeth with "people" toothpaste.
This toothpaste is not formulated to be ingested and
can upset your dog's stomach. It's also designed to
foam which is not desirable when brushing a dog's
teeth. So use a pet toothpaste formulated for dog
dental care that does not require rinsing.
You will also need a pet toothbrush. There's a great
triple sided pet toothbrush that will get the job
done faster than a traditional style toothbrush. Or
if you have a small dog you may want to try a pet
finger toothbrush. Finger toothbrushes slip right
onto your finger and are easily controlled to reach
the common trouble spots up near the gum line. Add
some specially formulated tartar removing toothpaste
and you're all set. Dog toothpaste is even available
in all-natural formulas and yummy flavors like
chicken and vanilla.
If this is your dog's first toothbrush look for a
pet dental care kit to get you started. These kits
typically include a pet toothbrush, a tube of pet
toothpaste and a pet finger toothbrush.
Pet dental wipes are great for use on dogs that
resist brushing. These easy-to-use pet teeth
cleaning pads help remove food debris and plaque,
kill germs and help to control bad breath. If your
dog will not allow you to use the toothbrush method
try using dental wipes regularly as part of your
dog's home dental care program.
You may also want to try to increase the amount of
time your dog spends chewing on real bones, dental
dog chew toys and edible dog chews.
This type of chewing helps remove food debris and
prevents tartar build up. If your dog chews enough
you may be able to reduce how often you need to
manually brush your dog's teeth.
How do dog's in the wild keep their teeth clean and
Dogs in the wild are generally much more active than
our domesticated pets because they must hunt for
their food. They also spend much more time chewing
and gnawing on fresh bones, which helps to keep
their teeth clean and healthy.
Our domesticated dogs can spend a lot of time
sleeping with their mouths closed while passing long
period of time alone. It is commonly believed that
the lack of fresh air circulating over the teeth and
gums can encourage certain types of bacterial growth
in the mouth. And since our pet dogs get their daily
rations served to them in bowls it isn't necessary
for them to spend much time chewing. Although
gnawing on bones is how dogs in the wild keep their
teeth free from food debris, bacterial accumulation
and tartar buildup, our domesticated friends rarely
spend as much time at such pursuits.
Encouraging your dog to chew will make a big
difference in the effectiveness of your dog dental
care routine. Real bones are nature's edible dog
chews. But if you prefer not to give your dog real
bones there are plenty of wonderful dental dog chew
toys and edible dog chews that will get the job
Will real bones help keep clean my dog's teeth?
Give your dog some real bones - Nature's own edible
dog chews. Most people don't provide their dog with
quantities of real bones, so as to avoid the mess
and unsanitary residue. It's great if you have an
environment in which your dog can indulge in working
on a fresh bone. But if not, you can buy some
natural sterilized marrowbones. These hollow bones
are also available pre-filled with tasty treats like
beef, chicken, cheese, and granola.
If you get some unfilled bones you may want to try
filling them with your dog's favorite treats. Try
peanut butter, cheese or one of the yummy pre-made
fillings available at pet shops and online stores.
If you would rather not give your dog real bones
there are many enticing dental dog chew toys and
edible dog chews available that will encourage your
dog to chew.
Besides real bones what other types of dog chews
will help keep my dog's teeth clean?
Traditional chew toys are still available and are
just as popular as ever. But there are also a
variety of very good dental chew toys, rope bone
chew toys and edible dog chews designed to keep your
dog engaged, with the added benefit of cleaning the
teeth. These toys will entice your dog into
playfully attending to the required dental hygiene.
They can also keep your dog entertained and out of
mischief during those times when you must leave your
Rope Bone Chew Toys -
Try a dental rope chew toy for great flossing
action. As your dog happily chews on these toys the
rope fibers clean between the teeth. Spray on some
dog dental care spray or rub on a little flavored
pet toothpaste to really enhance the cleaning action
of this enticing dental chew toy. Check out a pet
dental care spray & rope chew toy kit and get your
dog dental care routine going today.
Dental Chew Toys -
For long lasting chewing fun, and a great dental
workout, get your dog a dental chew toy. Some brands
are manufactured with grooves that make these dental
toys real winners for cleaning your dog's teeth.
Some dental chew toys can also be stuffed with your
dog's favorite treats for hours of stimulating
chewing. And for smaller dogs there are dental chew
toys that not only have teeth cleaning grooves but
also are combined with a rope chew. Just add some
pet toothpaste to the dental grooves and your dogs
will eagerly participate in their daily dog dental
Edible Dog Chews -
Are you concerned about giving your dog rawhide
chews because they can "ribbon" and cause your dog
to choke? Many pet hops and online stores now carry
a variety of composite chews. These all natural
rawhide dog chews can't ribbon, are easy to digest
and dogs love the baked in flavor. There is even an
edible dog chew treat available that contains no
Dogs, like people, have different tastes and
preferences. Choose whichever dental dog toy or dog
chew treat that will keep your dog happily chewing
his or her way to clean and healthy teeth and gums.
And remember that there are many convenient dog
dental care products available that will help you to
keep your dog's teeth and gums in great shape
between regular visits to the vet and grooming
salon. Unattended dental health problems cannot only
distress your beloved pet, but can lead to serious
conditions and ailments. Many of these problems can
be prevented by implementing a regular home dog
dental care routine.