As every dog parent knows, there are times when you have to be cruel to be kind. Dental care for dogs is one such occasion. Just as in humans, vets are discovering that dental health in our canine buddies is closely linked to their overall health. If neglected, dental problems in dogs can lead to bigger health problems. That’s why dental health is an important part of caring for your pet, right up there with regular shots, spay/ neuter and annual checkups.
Dental care for dogs
Just as in people, dogs also experience buildup of plaque on their teeth. And as in humans, this can lead to tooth decay and other internal problems. It’s estimated that by the time they’re three years old, 80% of dogs have periodontal disease.
Brushing can actually help slow down the advance of dental disease. Luckily, dogs don’t need flossing, since just brushing will clean 90% of all tooth surfaces. It’s never easy to convince your pets to hold still, however, and nearly two thirds or 65% of pet owners report that they’re unwilling or unable to brush their pets? teeth regularly.
Maintaing oral hygiene matters
It’s important to maintain your pet?s dental hygiene, since it affects their overall health. Plaque buildup and tooth decay promote the growth of bacteria, which can spread to the rest of the body. It can even reach organs like the heart or liver, causing major health problems. Preventive dental care for dogs can help stop problems with painful teeth and difficulty in eating.
While it can be difficult to handle your dog dental care yourself, it’s important to try. Dogs can be taught to treat tooth brushing as a game, with a judicious mix of treats and praise. A certain dog whisperer we know even suggests just explaining the situation to them in clear language. It may not work with all dogs, but the intelligent ones will be reasonable once they understand your actions.
When professional dental cleanings are required
If your pet is showing signs of pain or is avoiding eating, it may be time for a visit to the vet for a professional cleaning. Loss of weight may also indicate problems in eating that can be traced to a painful tooth. As well as cleaning the teeth, the vet may recommend special diet that will keep teeth clean and free of plaque.
Most dogs are terrified of a trip to the vet clinic, though once they get there, the treats and kind friends they find there will reconcile them to the event. Preventative dental care for dogs is an important part of pet healthcare. It can help to keep visits to the dog vet clinic few and far in between, making you and your dog a lot happier.