Are you neglecting your dog’s oral hygiene?
It’s safe to say we all take good care of our teeth. Brushing them morning and night is simply second nature. We all take pride in our pearly whites and desire to have a beautiful, fresh smile. And let’s be honest, no one likes bad breath! We are proactive with our oral health and go to the dentist for regular health checks and address any problems if they arise. However, it is also as important to keep your dog’s oral hygiene in check.
When was the last time you stopped and thought about your furry friend’s shiny little smile? Or maybe you’ve noticed a bit of bad breath from their morning kiss?
It’s time we talk all things oral health, because your dog’s smile can require a lot more help than you may think. In this article, we will explain why oral hygiene is so vital to your dog’s overall health. We will also provide 3 important tips on how to keep their teeth sparkling clean.
Poor oral hygiene in dogs is common
I’m sure you’ve all considered your dog to be a distant relative of the wild, ferocious and carcass tearing wolf who would go out and chew on their prey all day. Whilst our domestic dogs aren’t quite as closely linked to the wolf, thanks to being happily taken care of in our homes, they have acquired very different diets and methods of eating. Therefore, we must be more vigilant with their oral health to ensure we are picking up on any abnormalities.
Whilst most dog owners have never really had a good look in their dog’s mouth, it is estimated that 80% of dogs have significant oral pathology, leaving dental disease as no joke.
Whilst it is known that some breeds such as Pugs, Yorkshire Terriers, Caviler King Charles Spaniels and Greyhounds are more prone to dental disease, it is something we must be aware of in all our furry friends. The truth is, the mouth is warm, moist and has significant nutrients present for organisms to grow on. This makes the oral cavity of dogs a perfect incubator for all kinds of bacteria.
Good oral hygiene is vital to their overall health
Unbeknownst to you, your dog begins to run into trouble when plaque and calculus form on their teeth, and the normal microbial flora gets out of balance. Proliferation of pathogenic organisms (yes, you wish you brushed your dog’s teeth this morning now) can cause great trouble for them.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to canine periodontitis, which is a bacterial infection of the mouth. This then progresses from plaque and mildly inflamed gums to established gum disease. From here, it can further progress into a mild and then severe periodontitis, which may involve both bone and tooth loss (yes, very nasty for your poor furry friend).
Overall, healthy teeth and healthy gums are vital to your dog’s well-being. Brushing their teeth, feeding them a good diet and providing them with super yummy chew treats are all tips to keep your lovely canines smiling.
Important tips on dental care for your dog
Tip #1: Brush their teeth
When it comes to brushing your four legged friends teeth, the best thing to do is start them young. Get them into a routine of brushing their teeth (with a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste) from the beginning. This will get them comfortable with the procedure and you start yourself in a routine too. Whilst brushing their teeth is great for overall prevention of dental disease, it may not be every owner’s favourite thing to add to their busy schedule. Luckily there are other options such as diet and yummy chews to choose from.
Tip #2: Choose the right food
When it comes to oral health, dry food is better than soft food. A diet that consist of crunchy kibble for your dog to chew is a must have in their meal plan. However, whilst some believe chewing kibble is a good thing for oral health, studies have shown it doesn’t prevent the accumulation of tartar on the teeth. Therefore, considering aspects of raw feeding in your dogs diet will also help with their oral health.
Tip #3: Give them yummy chews
Finally, toys and treats that incorporate and require chewing are great for oral hygiene. They can also keep your dogs happily occupied and away from your shoes or other household appliances! If you’re an owner who would like to see your dog-resorting back to their self acclaimed “wild ways,” than a chew is also perfect for them. You are taking care of their teeth, jaws and surrounding muscles of mastication required to chew, whilst giving them immense enjoyment in the form of a tasty treat. The Golden Bone Bakery, who love to see your furry friends with beautiful and healthy smiles, have come up with a way to keep them joyously chewing away, regardless of breed and size.
Range of yummy chews provided by the
Golden Bone Bakery
They offer Beef Hooves filled with kangaroo meat which are safer than bones as they don’t splinter. Also filled with 100% dried Australian kangaroo mince, your pet is guaranteed to love this chew. Their Beef Tubes and Smokey Cattle Ears are also an incredible chew made out of 100% Australian Beef. Given the tube formation of the Beef Tubes, it can even be made extra yummy with the addition of natural peanut butter or treats.
If your dog loves fish, Shark Chews, Sharkies and Queen Knots are the perfect option! The leathery and tough texture of the fish skin is perfect for scraping the tooth of your dog. In addition, they are packed with Omega-3 Fatty Acids, keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy, and supporting strong joints.
Alternatively, you could offer your furry friend a Goat Horn. They are the ideal natural dog chew as they last ages. They also don’t splinter or smell, so you can quite happily keep them in your house or apartment unnoticed.
Keep your lovely canine smiling
So, brush those pearly whites when you can, keep on top of supplying your furry friends with a good, healthy diet and of course, happy chewing friends! Lets all work towards keeping those canines sparkling.
About the Author
Brooke is a Veterinary student at the University of Queensland
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