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Dog Teeth Cleaning & Dental Care

Pet Care
Oral hygiene is an important factor in a dogs overall health and can extend your dog’s life up to four years if actively maintained.

It is generally older dogs (>3y) that are diagnosed with dental problems but it can start in younger dogs depending on their diet. Common signs of dental disease include bad breath, painful mouth, difficulty eating or reduced appetite, teeth loss, pawing and rubbing of the mouth, bleeding gums, yellow-brown tartar buildup on teeth and drooling.

Plaque can build up within three to five days on a healthy tooth and  if not removed hardens to form tartar. Tartar then irritates the gums causing gingivitis and bad breath.If the condition progresses the gums can recede causing ulceration; missing teeth and mobile teeth. The resulting associated infections can lead to life threatening illnesses including kidney or heart failure.

So how can you reduce the risk of dental disease and ensure your dog’s teeth and gums are healthy?

Preventing Dental Disease:

Brushing Teeth

Brushing your dog’s teeth is crucial in removing plaque and tartar and requires regular attention. The four main steps below are a guide on how to brush your dog’s teeth.

STEP 1: Introduce a brushing program gradually. Avoid over-restraining him and keep brushing sessions short and positive. A small dog can be held in your lap. Praise and reassure your pet throughout the process.

STEP 2: At first, dip a finger into beef bouillon (this is to give the dog a treat whilst getting the dog used to fingers in his mouth do not do this if your dog is allergic to beef protein). Rub the soaked finger gently over your dog's mouth and teeth. Make the initial sessions short and positive.

STEP 3: Gradually, introduce gauze over the finger and gently scrub the teeth in a circular motion.

STEP 4: Finally, you can introduce a soft toothbrush designed for pets. Use a sensitive or ultra-soft brush designed for people or a brush designed for pets. Special pet toothbrushes and toothpaste are available from your veterinarian or specialty pet store. Don't use toothpaste designed for people because it could upset your dog's stomach.

Dog Dental Treats and Diets

Treating your dog with a raw bone, once or twice a week will minimise the risk of dental disease and keep your pet busy as well. All bones must be raw and un-cut, as cut bones often get caught between the teeth and cause slab fractures.

Incorporating dental pet food into your dog’s daily routine is clinically proven to reduce plaque and the amount of bacteria. Providing oral health dry food allows the dog to chew and scrub off the bacterial plaque, whilst also stimulating the gums.

Regular Vet Appointments

All pets should have a regular dental check-up to examine teeth and if necessary, a professional clean. 

(Source: http://www.hillspet.com.au/en-au/dog-care/dental-care-for-your-adult-dog.html)

RSPCA QLD
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