Oral health in dogs: How to maintain healthy teeth in dogs?
Dental disorders in dogs can cause serious health issues if left unchecked. Using the best dog toothbrushes certainly helps in canine dental hygiene. Sometimes pet owners may not be able to tell if their dog is suffering from a bad tooth. Oral problems in dogs must be detected and treated early. But as prevention is always better than cure, you can also save your dog from impending tooth problems by using adequate preventive measures. Dog experts and veterinarians share a few tips to keep your dog’s teeth in good shape.
Best toothbrushes for dogs
There are several toothbrushes for dogs available with a long handle and brush sets similar to the ones everyone uses. Anyone of them can be used gently on a dog’s teeth. However, it is more unlikely that a dog is cooperating with this procedure of brushing its teeth. So, slowly getting into the habit is the only way to make it easier. Here are five of the best toothbrushes for your dog available in the market.
Feixiang Three-sided Pet toothbrush
This brush comes with three brush heads that can cover more area in one stroke on the teeth. It has a better design quality that will perfectly fit with the teeth anatomy of a dog. It has a rubber handle that offers a great grip even with gloves on your hand.
iTedel pet toothbrush and nail clipper combo
iTedel pet toothbrush is a toothbrush model with a modern take that will free you from keeping the dog in one place and brushing them. The special design of the brush will get into every curve and crevice in your dog’s teeth. All you have to do is apply a little toothpaste to it and give it dog under your supervision.
Virbac Single-ended toothbrush
Virbac toothbrush is a soft bristles brush with the traditional toothbrush design. However, the brush’s long handle is very helpful to brush without giving much strain to your dog. These are more recommended for small dogs.
Arm & Hammer Dental-kit for dog
This Arm & Hammer dental kit includes all the basic things you need to clean your dog’s teeth. The brush included in the kit is double-ended so that you can change the side according to the size of the teeth.
Barkley’s finger brush toothbrush for dogs
Berkley’s finger brush is more useful if your dog is not letting you brush it with a normal brush. It has a 360-degree working ability, and all you have to do is insert it onto your finger. Then start brushing the teeth of the dog.
Tips to clean your dog’s teeth without using a brush
You need not rely on dog toothbrushes for maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene. Even the best dog toothbrushes may not be 100% effective for dog teeth cleaning. Dog owners may not have time to properly brush their pet’s teeth daily. These simple tips can be useful for a busy dog owner who is worried about the oral health of their little friend.
1. Dental wipe
Dental wipes are an easier way to clean your dog’s teeth than brushes. Dental wipes are certainly as effective as brushes. Most dogs tend to dislike harsh and large brushes inside their mouths. Wipes get the job done with minimum effort and without causing too much discomfort to the dogs.
2. Cleaning through foods
There are some select food supplements that can act as a cleaner for the teeth. Supplements with seaweed have natural cleaning properties with flavours that can help with bad breath. And the added advantage, your dog may not even realize their teeth are being cleaned!
Bone chewing is a great way to keep your dog’s teeth cleaner and healthier. Chewing bones help to remove food residues stuck in the teeth and may scrape off plaque from the teeth. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your dog’s dental hygiene.
4. Chewing toys
Similar to bones, chewing toys are helpful for dog teeth cleaning. Chewing toys can sometimes be even more effective than the best dog toothbrushes.
5. Oral sprays
Dog teeth cleaning products like dog mouthwash can become abrasive and harmful to pets. You can use a variety of other dog cleaning products like oral sprays. Apply these products around the teeth and gums of the dog. Sprays are easier to use but the dog needs to get used to that. Sprays and gels are also most effective when used in conjunction with toothbrushes.
6. Water additives
These are cleaning solutions that can be added to your dog’s water intake. Water additives contain add-ones that keep your dog’s mouth fresh and clean. Simply add a prescribed amount of liquid into your dog’s water bowl and make sure they drink it.
Signs of dental problems in your dog
Recognizing dental issues in dogs can be very hard. As they cannot voice their toothache, it is up to the dog owners to realize if their pet is in distress. Failure to detect oral problems sooner can lead to infections, teeth loss and digestive problems. Here are a few signs that can tell you if your dog is suffering from a toothache.
1. Bad breath
Bad breath is an excellent tell of tooth problems in dogs. If your dog’s breath smells unnaturally foul, chances are they are developing some oral issues. Bad breath can be an indicator of tooth decay or rotting gum.
3. Excessive drooling
Drooling is quite normal in dogs. But if you find your dog drooling excessively it may be a symptom of tooth problems. Dogs tend to drool more when they are suffering from tooth pain. In some rare cases, there could be a slight discoloration of saliva too. If you find unusual drooling in your dog, take him/her immediately to a certified veterinarian.
3. Refusal to eat
This is a natural indicator that your dog is suffering from dental problems. Your dog must be refusing to eat because of an aching tooth. They may also show discomfort while eating or even spit out food. If you notice an unusual loss of appetite in dogs, it can be because of a painful tooth.
4. Visible signs
Visible signs like inflammation or swelling are easier to spot. Pet owners must make it a habit to regularly check the dog’s mouth to see if there are any strange developments going on. Regular oral checks are necessary to ensure good oral health in your dogs.
Common dental disorders in dogs
Let us take a look at some of the common dental diseases found in canines.
Inflammation in gums can be caused by bacterial infection around the gum tissue. Improper diet and lack of oral hygiene can result in gum diseases in dogs. Bacterial accumulation result in the breakage of tissue and eventual teeth loss. Regular brushing with the best dog toothbrushes and timely oral examinations are the best way to prevent gum diseases in dogs. Toys and treats can be used to maintain proper gum health.
Tooth damage, enamel loss and tooth decay can be caused by external factors or bad diet plans. Biting and chewing on dangerous objects can lead to injuries and falling out of teeth. Tooth decay can also happen due to genetic abnormalities. Puppies are more prone to tooth decay as their tooth is more fragile in the early stages. Puppies need regular inspection from skilled veterinarians to ensure proper teeth growth.
Fever, certain food items, external traumas and some viruses can cause enamel deficiency in dogs. Malnutrition can also be a top reason for thinning enamel. Treatment techniques like fluoride treatment can be used to replenish the enamel content in dog’s teeth. More serious fractures and injuries need stabilization techniques to impart healing.
Additional tips to care for your dog’s dental health
Here are some additional tips to safeguard oral health in your dogs
- Regular oral check-ups and routine cleanings.
- Proper diet
- Avoiding sharp objects as toys
- Regular brushing