From Baby Teeth to Adult Teeth, All About Your Dog's Teeth!
How Do I Take Care Of My Dog's Teeth?
Did you know that 80% of dogs develop gum and teeth disease by the time they turn two years old?
I know, it’s a disturbing observation, but it is the reality.
Pet owners should be aware that oral problems are real and it could affect any dogs – including yours. The oral health of your dog plays a vital role in his overall wellness. If you don’t want your pooch to be part of the 80%, there are certain measures you need to observe.
How you take care of your dog’s teeth would depend on his age. You can’t treat baby teeth in the same way you treat adult teeth.
In this post, let me share with you some of the best tips on how to take care of your dog's teeth.
How To Take Care of Puppy Teeth
Your dog already has teeth at the time of his birth. They are sharper and more pointed than adult teeth.
Dental care can be done as early as one month. However, you might want to postpone using a toothbrush until your pooch grew his adult teeth. That is around six months of age.
When you start taking care of your puppy’s oral health, you can begin with massaging his gums. You can do this when you’re snuggling or playing with him.
After a few days or weeks, once your dog is comfortable with gum massage, you can then use a soft rubber brush that fits on your fingertip.
Use a toothpaste that is specially made for dogs. Don’t use human toothpaste as it can be harmful to your pooch. Dog toothpaste is fun to use. They come in various minted flavors such as chicken, beef, and even banana flavor.
How To Take Care of Adult Dog Teeth
In just five to six months, you will begin to see your dog shedding its baby teeth. All of a sudden, your dog has his permanent teeth.
Ideally, you need to brush your dog’s teeth once a day. Your goal here is to set a routine. Use a specialized toothbrush for dogs. You will notice that their toothbrush is specially angled. For smaller dogs, finger brushes can be enough to reach all teeth. However, bigger dogs may need longer toothbrushes.
The best position to brush your dog’s teeth is kneeling in front or to the side of him. Try to check your dog’s anxiety level. If he isn’t comfortable, you might want to postpone and try again later.
Since you have been massaging and cleaning your dog’s teeth while he is young, he should now be receptive to you for brushing. Lift your dog's upper lip and angle your bristles to reach the gum line. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle against the teeth. Do a small circular motion and use gentle pressure.
Brush all teeth, working from one side, to the front, then to the other side. You can either start on the top teeth and then to the bottom teeth. Do this systematically to save time and ensure your dog is unnecessarily agitated.
You may notice slight bleeding, but that’s okay. If bleeding continues, it may indicate gum disease. Talk to your vet for advice.
Dental Tips For Your Dog
There are a few useful dental tips I would like to share with you.
- Schedule yearly dental cleaning. Aside from cleaning, your vet can assess any potential problems your dog may have. This serves as a preventive and therapeutic measure at the same time.
- Use dental chews. They are effective in scraping off plaques and tartar. The best part is that dogs typically love dental chews. So, there’s no struggle in giving them dental treats.
- Feed your dog with quality and nutritious food. Nourishing your dog means you are also nourishing his oral health. Poor quality food, unfortunately, will not only harm your dog’s tummy, but also his teeth and gums.
- Provide chew toys to your pooch especially during teething. Chewing is common at this stage as your dog tries to relieve the discomfort caused by his inflamed gums.
- Any mouth disease should not be ignored. Some early signs and symptoms of more serious health problems can be seen in the mouth. For example, smelly and infected mouths may indicate diabetes and kidney disease. Checking the oral cavity of your dog can be a great way to detect medical conditions early on.
Speak To Your Vet
Keeping your dog healthy includes keeping his mouth healthy as well. A healthy oral cavity, teeth, gums, and tongue goes a long way for your dog’s overall quality of life.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak to your vet. Ask for advice on how to better take care of your dog’s oral health.
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