We all know that feeling when your dog is so excited that you've come home that they can't help but give you some wet, slippery kisses. Unfortunately, many pet parents know that dog breath can be downright terrible. While bad breath can be off-putting, it is also one of the signs of periodontal disease, which can lead to serious health implications.
Taking the proper care of your dog's teeth is the only way to prevent both periodontal disease and bad breath. Maintaining the health of dog's teeth isn't just about making sure their breath doesn't smell; it's about maintaining their overall health and wellness. Your dog's oral health is a vital part of their overall health routine. Here's how you can take care of your dog's teeth.
Visit your Veterinarian Regularly
Your dog needs to be regularly evaluated by a professional to make sure that they are healthy. Your vet should also check your dog's teeth to discover any tartar or signs of periodontal disease so that it can be treated effectively.
The good news is that periodontal disease in dogs is preventable to an extent. Your dog should have a check-up at least once or twice a year. During this well visit, your vet will be looking for reddened gums, brownish tartar, and other signs of dental disease. They may also recommend that your dog get X-rays to make sure there are no hidden signs of dental disease below the gum line or in the bones.
It's always best to listen to the professionals. You wouldn't go to the doctor for the flu and then not take any of their recommendations to heart. The same should be true for your dog. Your vet may require that your dog gets a dental cleaning, and that does mean that your dog will have to go under general anesthesia.
Most vets recommend a dental cleaning at least once a year after the age of three. Depending on the health of your dog's mouth, the vet may never recommend cleanings.
Brush Your Dog's Teeth
Many pet parents are concerned about the health implications of anesthesia when it comes to their pets. While it is extremely safe these days, some people are still wary, especially if they have older dogs.
The best way to prevent the need for professional dental cleanings is to brush your dog's teeth every single day. Just like you brush your teeth, they should, too. Brushing your dog's teeth every day is the best way to prevent gum disease. However, we do recommend following the advice of your veterinarian. If they believe your dog needs annual cleanings, then your dog should get annual cleanings.
However, you should still brush your dog's teeth every single day to further prevent periodontal disease and get rid of bad breath. Consider this: as a human, you probably go to the dentist at least once a year for a cleaning. But in between cleanings, you brush your teeth so that the cleaning is easier and the health of your teeth is better. The same goes for your pooch.
Many pet parents go days, weeks, even years without brushing their dog's teeth. This is not effective because bacteria can recolonize on the tooth within 24 to 36 hours, so the best thing you can do for your dog is make sure their teeth are brushed once a day, every single day.
Some dog treats are specially designed to help improve the oral health of dogs. These dental treats aim to clean your dog's teeth and keep their breath fresh. You'll know which treats are designed specially for teeth and oral health by their packaging. Most will even be labeled "dental chews."
It's also important that you know which treats to avoid giving your dog. Cow hooves, pig's ears, and real bones can actually be dangerous for your dog's teeth and overall health. If you're not sure which toys are safe for your pup, check with your vet.
Supplement Oral Health
While brushing your dog's teeth every day is the best way to prevent period disease, you can choose to supplement their oral health with other pet products on the market.
CBD has been known for its antibacterial properties, which can help battle bacteria in dog's mouths and prevent the recolonization of the bacteria that cause dental disease.
Dental Supplements are also a great idea because they are formulated with ingredients that promote healthy teeth and gums and fight plaque. They can also soften plaque and tartar so that they are easier to remove with a toothbrush at home. Supplements also promote a healthy bacterial balance in the mouth and stomach to improve oral health.
Remember, that supplementing your dog's oral health, including given them dental treats, does not replace daily brushing.