Pet Dental Health
That toothy grin on Fido isn’t just for looks. It should be a sign of good oral health and that can be a sign of overall wellness. If your dog has sore or inflamed gums, that can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream and attack the liver or heart. Regular brushing and good canine dental health care can give Fido not only a happy grin, but a healthy one.
Here are some preventative steps you can take to keep your pet healthy:
Take the breath test
It doesn’t have to smell like lilies, but your dog’s breath should not be offensive either. If it is and her appetite is off or she’s drinking or urinating too much, a trip to the vet may be in order.
Check the gums
Once a week, with your dog facing you, check his gums. They should be pinkish without swelling. His teeth should be white with no tartar, which can be formed by bacteria and foods that form plaque. If you see loose teeth, inflamed gums, much drooling, or possible gum tumors, make the trip to the vet or canine dentist.
Start the brushing routine
Begin with a toothbrush made especially for canines, not for you. Your vet can supply you with the proper toothpaste or you can make it out of water and baking soda. People toothpaste wreaks havoc on your dog’s stomach. Next, get your dog used to brushing, this can often take a while. Daily brushing would be the aim, but with lots of dogs, that isn’t going to happen. If three or four times a week is all the two of you can manage, learn to live with it.
Brushing a dog’s teeth takes a little practice. You use small, circular motions with the brush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth. Brush one area of the mouth at a time, lifting the lips when necessary. Don’t fight it if your dog resists some areas. Try to go back later. At least once a week during the brushing routine, be on the lookout for signs of unhealthy teeth or mouth disorders.
Make daily – if possible – tooth brushing a habit with your canine pet. Keep your eye out for really bad breath and really bad looking gums or teeth. Those signs signal a trip to the vet or veterinary dental specialist. Remember that a healthy looking mouth for Fido means a happy dog and happy you.