When it comes to taking care of your pet, truly caring veterinarians won’t just limit themselves to one aspect of their health. Sure enough, as specialists, we like to focus on one area so we can master it and provide our patients with the best care possible, but we won’t just forget there’s much to look out for. At BrightCare Veterinary Neurology, everyone wishes to remind pet parents that their dog’s dental care is also crucial to good overall health. We focus on providing appropriate treatment for dog neurological disorders, but we’d also like to take some time to remind you of other areas where you can focus on to have your dog enjoy good health.
Taking good care of your dog here in Mission Viejo, CA, also means ensuring their teeth, gums, and mouths are as healthy as possible. You may already be used to taking your dog to their regular veterinarian frequently, but these areas of focused care are also essential.
Do Dogs Need Dental Care?
Yes. Unfortunately, dental disease is one of the most common health problems dogs experience that requires help from professionals. Dental health problems are so common that 80% of dogs over the age of three have some type of dental disease.
Dental care for dogs is as essential as any other aspect of dog veterinary care due to the potential complications that can arise from negligence or lack of interest in this area. Besides, your dog’s oral health can also indicate when they’re suffering more complex problems or ensure everything is going well.
Initially, many dogs can suffer from severe cases of periodontal disease. But dog dental problems can go beyond swollen gums that cause mild discomfort. You can also require professional attention to solve cases of broken, chipped, or fractured teeth in dogs.
Most such cases occur when your dog chews on really hard objects, such as ice cubes, bones, and other hard surfaces. Please keep this in mind when choosing toys for your dog, as you should stick to options that bend and give in when compressed.
Our primary concern as dog veterinarians is that dental health problems don’t evolve into dangerous systemic health complications. Just as with the case of us humans, dogs are susceptible to some dangerous infections when they suffer from considerable tooth decay and erosion.
The outermost layer of protective enamel becomes thinner and thinner without proper dental care. Any dangerous bacteria protected by a layer of plaque or tartar around your dog’s teeth will continue to erode the enamel with corrosive acids and gnaw their way into the softer tissues within each tooth.
Once the bacteria reach the pulp of your dog’s teeth, they will cause infections that can spread to the rest of the dog’s system and develop additional complications in other organs, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.
How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth at Home?
Don’t be like so many dog owners who underestimate the importance of proper dental care for dogs. We want to help you keep your dogs healthy with timely reminders about their care. Trust us; adequate oral hygiene is crucial for your dog. Here are a few things you can try to keep your dog’s teeth as healthy as possible.
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Let’s start with the basics. We know it may sound silly to brush your dog’s teeth, but this is one of the most effective and basic ways in which you can help avoid the buildup of dangerous plaque around your dog’s teeth. Don’t worry; you won’t have to brush those teeth daily or nearly as often as required for your own teeth, but you can help your dog quickly catch up on the routine by frequently brushing their teeth in a welcoming and safe environment.
Please, use a toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs. Avoid using any human products that could include ingredients that are toxic to pets.
Use Dog Tooth Wipes
As an alternative to brushing dogs’ teeth, though maybe not as efficient, is rubbing a tooth wipe around each tooth to remove food debris and plaque stuck around your dog’s mouth. This follows the same principle as a toothbrush, but they’re not as effective when cleaning between teeth.
Dental Care Dog Treats
Some specially-made treats are useful to remove plaque and prevent more dental problems. Besides, they have ingredients that improve your dog’s breath as well as dental health. Dogs will usually prefer this option over any others, but you should still consider there are no real substitutes to activities you can do with your dog instead of just feeding them treats.
What About Professional Dental Cleanings for Dogs?
It’s not always easy to determine when a dog requires help from a professional veterinarian to solve a dental health problem; consequently, you should consider bringing your dog to a veterinarian at least once a year to check for any signs of an arising dental health problem.
A professional dental cleaning is the single best way to keep your dog’s dental health in check.
Give us a call at BrightCare Neurology to learn more about local veterinarians who can help keep your dog’s teeth as healthy as possible.