Ever heard the old adage that your dog’s mouth is cleaner than yours? Unfortunately, that urban myth can lead to quite a bit of suffering for our furry friends who need just as much, if not more regular dental care than we do.
In truth, a dog’s mouth is loaded with enzymes that are far more active than those in our own mouths. It means they can eat things that we would never be able to put in our own mouths. It doesn’t, however, protect them against gingivitis and plaque – the leading factors behind gum disease.
Keeping it Clean
Of course, keeping your pup’s mouth squeaky clean with some especial dental equipment is not hard. Much like human beings, if a dog has regular dental car, their teeth will remain safe and clean for the duration of their life. They won’t need to worry about bone loss, gum bleeding, or spreading infections.
If left untreated Gingivitis will turn into Periodontitis. Periodontitis is an infection at the root of the tooth. The teeth will become loose and eventually fall out. This is very painful for your dog! Other signs of Periodontitis are nasal discharge and swelling under the eye. You must see your veterinarian as soon as possible!
Keeping your dog’s teeth clean is part of your basic dog care routine. Some dogs do very well with hard marrow bones, be careful though, your dog could break a tooth. I don’t recommend hard dental bones, I’ve seen too many dogs swallow large pieces which led to vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases intestinal blockage. They are not easily digested.
Starting your puppy with raw celery sticks is a nice way to have your puppy floss her own teeth. Think of all those strings in celery, wonderful dental floss! Celery will not make your dog gain weight, and if he does swallow a large piece it is much more likely to be digested than hard dental bones. This is not a substitution for daily teeth and gum brushing.
While you are brushing your dogs teeth, take the opportunity to make sure that there is nothing abnormal in or around the mouth. A good friend of mine found a small lump on her dog’s tongue. It turned out to be a carcinoma. Since is was found early it was easily removed. My friend saved her dog’s life just by taking care of daily oral hygiene.
Dental and oral care is an important conversation to have with your veterinarian. Your vet should check your dog’s teeth and gums as part of your annual or bi-annual well care visit. It’s much easier to prevent a problem than deal with it once it has already begun.
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