Have you been keeping tabs on your dog’s oral care? If not, it is time to start incorporating this as part of taking care of your dog. Proper dental care can prevent an oral condition that could lead to pain and discomfort, and if left untreated, it could be the result of more severe health conditions.
What Should A Healthy Mouth Look Like?
Healthy teeth on your dog should be clean, intact, free from tartar and plaque, and not broken or jagged. His tongue must be moist without signs of any cuts or lumps. His gums must have a salmon pink appearance. Some breeds have black and pink or black gums and may make it problematic to check for discoloration. With regular check-ups, however, the vet can check for raised spots, pale gums, lumps, or bright red tissue.
Keeping Your Dog’s Mouth Clean
A dog is not born with a healthy mouth that will remain that way into adulthood. It is up to us to help keep their teeth into shape. You can do this by:
- Frequent brushing with dog-specific toothpaste and toothbrush. Regular toothpaste for humans is not suitable for a dog. It can irritate his stomach and make him very ill. Just like you brush your teeth a few times daily, your dog’s mouth also necessitates daily attention.
- Give him specific toys and treats, which are specially formulated for reducing bacteria in a dog’s mouth. Also, have a look at Fuzzy Rescue’s comparison of dental chews.
- Be sure to take your dog for his annual professional cleaning at the vet’s office. This is usually performed under anesthesia for every one to three years.
- Ensure your pup is eating proper nutritional foods, which is formulated for good oral care, reducing tartar and plaque build-up and freshen his breath.
Beware Of These Oral Care Issues
If you notice any signs of discoloration, swelling, lumps or sores in his mouth or a change in his smell, get in contact with the vet immediately.
Common Oral Care Issues In Dogs:
- Halitosis (Bad Breath)– could be indicative of an infection or kidney disease.
- Tumors And Cysts In The Mouth– some must be drained. All lumps must be biopsied and removed if they’re malignant.
- Gingivitis (inflamed gums)– the condition can be reversed with frequent cleaning and brushing. Contact the vet if you notice changes in the gums or bleeding.
- Periodontal Disease– an infection between the gums and teeth that results in swelling, pain, loose teeth, difficulty eating, and sometimes nasal discharge. Check for red and swollen gums, brown or yellow teeth, and if your dog has trouble chewing. A vet must treat the condition.
- Proliferating Gum Disease– usually common with boxers and bull terriers. This condition occurs when a dog’s gum line starts growing over his teeth. The excess growth results in infection and must be treated with antibiotics.
By assisting your dog with maintaining proper oral care, you can help prevent all the conditions mentioned above. Show your loyal companion just how much you care about him by helping him keep those gums, teeth, and tongue clean.