GROOMING WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW about dental hygiene and oral care
Did you know that 80% of dogs show signs of oral disease by 3 years old? It's your job to help take care of your puppies pearly whites dental health is a huge part of having a healthy dog. Poor dental hygiene can lead to serious issues that affect the whole body! For example, did you know that oral issues can spread systemically? Bad dental health can lead to issues with the heart valves, liver, and kidneys!
"What Does a Healthy Mouth Look Like? Before you learn how to take care of your dog's teeth (and what can happen if you don't), you need to understand what a healthy mouth looks like in the first place. Healthy dog teeth should be clean and free of plaque and tartar (hard, scaly or sticky discolorations). Similarly, your dog's 42 teeth (a third more than you have, as Pet Health Network® points out) should be intact and not jagged or broken.
Your furry friend's tongue should be moist — without any signs of lumps or cuts. And, in most cases, his gums should be salmon pink. Some dog breeds naturally have black or black-and-pink gums, notes PetHelpful, which can making looking for the usual signs of discoloration tricky. Make sure you know what your pet's mouth usually looks like, and talk to your vet if you spot any lumps, raised spots, pale gums or bright red tissue.
How to Keep Your Dog's Mouth Clean Dogs aren't born with healthy mouths that will stay that way into adulthood — it's up to us to help them keep their pearly whites in tip-top shape. Regular brushing with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste helps, and so do certain toys and treats that are formulated to reduce bacteria in your pet's mouth. Just as you brush your own teeth a few times a day, a dog's mouth also needs daily attention.
If brushing your dog's teeth is new to the both of you, be sure to take baby steps. As the American Kennel Club (AKC) notes, you'll want to get your dog comfortable with you touching his mouth and teeth first before you come at him with a toothbrush and toothpaste. First, touch his muzzle and practice rubbing your finger along his teeth and gums. Once he can handle this — while staying calm and relaxed — introduce the toothbrush. Let him smell it, and very gently rub it on his teeth. This process may take a few days for each step. Go slowly, and don't rush your pet. After all, you don't want him to develop anxious or negative feelings about this routine.
Once you've developed the trust needed for successful brushing, it's time to work on technique. First, lift your dog's lips and brush his front teeth. Slowly work your way to the back of his mouth, paying careful attention to the outside of his teeth. You may need to pull back at first and only do a few teeth at a time. Once you're both used to the process, you'll find the routine quick and simple to complete. Dog toothpaste is also specially formulated to be as tasty as possible, as long as you like turkey and chicken better than minty freshness. Look for a dog-specific paste at your local pet supply store or vet's office."
Remember: You should never use human toothpaste on your dog, since the ingredients can irritate his stomach and make him extremely sick
Check out this YouTube video for further instructions on how to properly brush and care for your dogs teeth Video: https://youtu.be/PsNlLLSBWLU
Other things you can do to help maintain a healthy mouth: Let your dog chew! Chewing is a natural way for your dog to clean their teeth check with your local pet store for appropriate options! Dental treats! You can give your dog dental treats such as Greenies or denta-sticks to help support clean teeth Dental toys! There are toys that are specifically designed with little grooves so that when you're dog chews on them, they are actually brushing their teeth!