• Time to start brushing

5 reasons why you should care for your dog’s teeth


We’ve all heard the jokes about dog breath but, let’s face it, until we started using toothpaste, ours probably wasn’t much better. Looking after our teeth is something we now do as a matter of course and it’s about time we started doing it for our dogs too. Did you know that:

 

  • Oral disease is by far the number one health problem in small animal patients
  • By two years of age, 80% of dogs have some form of oral disease – small and toy breeds are particularly susceptible
  • Oral disease is painful – yet patients rarely show signs of the pain that they are in. Untreated, it will significantly reduce their quality of life.
  • Untreated oral disease can go on to cause serious health conditions in affected dogs, including cardiac, kidney and gastrointestinal disease
  • A simple home care regime can significantly improve your dog’s oral – and general – health. And reduce dog breath.

 

Dr Gareth Richardson, Senior Partner at Medivet, says: “When it comes to oral health, prevention is better than cure and some simple steps can help reduce your dog’s risk of tooth and gum disease.

“Brushing your dog’s teeth is the ‘gold standard’ because it is the most effective way to remove plaque.  Make sure that you use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for pets as some of the ingredients in human toothpaste are toxic to dogs. 

“If you find brushing difficult you can also give your dog a low-calorie dental chew. Used regularly, chews can help to reduce plaque and tartar build-up.  You can also adjust your dog’s diet. Wet food diets provide no abrasive action against the teeth but dry food kibble is abrasive and can help to prevent plaque build-up.

“Finally, if your dog will let you, check inside its mouth regularly for signs such as red, sore-looking gums or brown staining on the teeth. If you have any concerns, your vet will be able to give you plenty of advice.”

 

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