Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pearly Whites

Our k9 friends need dental care just as much as we humans do!
 Overall health is so important in all of our lives. Proper nutrition, exercise and routine "grooming".  
Unfortunately, dental hygiene for dogs is sometimes overlooked. So next time you go to brush your teeth have you pups following you into the bathroom and pay attention to their pearly whites as well we your own. ;) Catching teeth problems early in your dogs will help avoid severe dental disease.

Your veterinarian will also take a look at your dog’s pearly whites during routine exams, make sure you visit your vet every 6-12 months for wellness check-ups and watch for signs such as: 

-Halitosis (bad breath)
-Increased salvation
-Calculus/Tarter (hard coating on teeth that is usually yellow or brown in color - plaque build up
-Bleeding gums 
-puffy/red gums
-Crying out when chewing or Reluctance to chew
-Loose or missing teeth etc. . .There are several things you can do to help keep your dog’s teeth in good shape. Make sure you start dental routine as early as possible in your dog’s life so he/she get used to having their teeth brushed and inspected. Brushing your dogs teeth is another good way to help keep those pearly whites in tip top shape, but if you do brush them yourself here are some important "need to know" tips. . .

#1. Before you begin, make sure to ask your vet to show you some techniques to make brushing your dogs teeth easier on your dog and you. 

#2. NEVER brush your dog's teeth with human toothpaste. your dog can get very sick from this. Make sure you use toothpaste MADE FOR DOGS. You can pick this up at any pet care store. So, NO human products for your dogs. Period.

#3. Start out brushing your dogs teeth with finger brushes. These are not as awkward as hard brushes and it can help ease your dog into having their teeth and gums cleaned. 

#4. Daily brush is recommended as plaque will turn into tarter within 24-48 hours.

#5. if you are not able to brush your dogs teeth, look into an oral rinse MADE FOR DOGS. 

#6. Dental treats are another good option but should not replace teeth brushing/cleaning.

Being 'hands on' with our dogs can help them have an easier time at the vets office for exams. Groom your dogs coat, bathe your dogs, clean their ears, cut their nails and brush their teeth regularly. May seem silly, but these are things our fur kids need to live healthy lives and these are the kinds of things we do for our family. So, happy care taking everyone - your dog will thank you for it . . . so will your vet and your wallet ;)
Check out these links for more info:

Chronic bad breath in dogs

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