Keeping their dogs healthy and giving them a good quality of life is one of the highest priorities in any dog owner’s life. A major part of this which is very often overlooked includes oral hygiene. This is because many dog owners believe that a dog’s breath is always meant to be stinky and do not know how to detect the signs of tooth rot or dental disease. Yes, dog breath is stinky, but it should not be so bad that it makes you want to throw up.
Why is it so important to care for your dog’s dental health?
Just like humans, dogs and other animals need adequate dental care to keep their teeth strong and free from cavities. Poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontal disease in dogs as young as 3 years old, which may lead to painful infections, abscesses and tooth loss. It may also lead to a buildup of plaque, tartar and inflamed gums, often a sign of gingivitis. Your dog may have trouble eating because of the pain, and inflamed gums could lead to more infections, making things worse.
What does a healthy mouth look like?
It can be hard to detect if your dog is suffering from dental issues if you don’t know what a healthy mouth looks like in the first place. Healthy dog teeth (42 in total) will be free of tartar or plaque, will not be jagged or broken and will be white or a pale yellow. Healthy gums, in most cases, will be pink, but in some dog breeds will be a mix of black and pink or just black.
Knowing what they normally look like will help you detect any abnormalities. A healthy tongue should be moist and without any lumps or cuts. If you spot any lumps, raised spots, cuts, gum discolouration or chipped teeth, get in touch with a mobile vet to come and take a look at your dog’s mouth and help you with diagnosis and treatment.
How to take care of your dog’s dental health
It may sound strange, but dog teeth need to be brushed, just like human teeth. Because your dog lacks the benefit of having opposable thumbs and cannot hold a brush, it depends entirely upon its human for this. Special pet toothbrushes with soft bristles and toothpaste in flavours like beef and chicken are available, which can make it easier for your dog to get his teeth brushed daily. If both you and your dog are new to brushing their teeth, it may take some time before your dog becomes used to it, and you may need to experiment with flavours and brushes until both of you find your preferred method and rhythm.
Certain dog treats
Certain dog treats and chews are designed to improve your dog’s dental health. Made specifically to remove plaque from the teeth, these treats also contain ingredients that clean your dog’s mouth and freshen their breath. Similarly, chews like cow or pig ears, chicken strips, and bully sticks are great, all-natural chews that promote better oral health by removing plaque off teeth. But these treats can also have a lot of calories in them, so for a healthier option, you can choose nylon or rubber dog chew toys that do the same job without the calories.
The act of gnawing helps remove plaque from the teeth, which is why a healthy quantity of dry food in your dog’s diet is essential. Similarly, raw bones are another great option to promote oral health, but make sure that the bones you choose aren’t too hard. Hard, cooked or processed bones can splinter when broken and can cause your dog’s teeth to break and cut their mouth.
Routine oral health checkups
During your dog’s routine wellness checks, your vet should ideally also conduct an oral health check. If they don’t, you can ask for it. Detecting any problems as they arise can help you work out a proactive plan to prevent them from getting worse. Being regular with your visits and taking care of your pet’s dental health can help you avoid problems in the long run.
Why Choose a Mobile Vet
If you’re struggling to meet your dog’s regular wellness check appointments due to any reason; whether you’re unable to get time off work, have little kids to look after or have a dog that struggles with anxiety at a vet clinic, consider choosing a mobile vet. Not only do they offer the same services as a regular, in-clinic vet, but they also come right to your place, so you no longer have to worry about any of the above problems. The quality of care your dog will get is also likely to improve, as the dog will be more comfortable at a place they know than a veterinary clinic.