Canine Dental Issues and How to Help at Home.

To prevent serious dental disease, it is recommended to brush your pet’s teeth at home at least two to three times per week and take your pet for a professional dental cleaning once a year if necessary.

As your pet ages, depending on the breed of dog, dental disease may be more prevalent in some breeds. Below are 7 of the top breeds of dogs that suffer from dental disease:

Pug. Those squishy faces may be cute, but they usually have some of the worst teeth.

  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Maltese

Periodontal Disease in dogs when food particles and bacteria accumulate along the dog’s gumline, it can form plaque, which, when combined with saliva and minerals, will transform into calculus. It causes gum irritation and leads to an inflammatory condition called gingivitis.

What can we do as pet parents to help keep our dogs’ teeth as healthy as possible? Here are seven tips to make brushing your dog’s teeth an easy task:

  1. Use a specially designed pet toothbrush, not a human toothbrush. Even the softest human brush is too coarse for a canine.
  2. Use only veterinarian-approved pet toothpaste, human toothpaste is not designed to be swallowed and can upset a dog’s stomach.
  3. Start by offering the dog a taste of the toothpaste to get it used to the smell and taste. With the various flavours available, you will probably find that different dogs have different favourites that will help them accept brushing more easily than other flavours. So if one flavour doesn’t seem to appeal to a dog, try another.
  4. Put some toothpaste on the brush and lift the dog’s lip up from the side and brush the teeth you can reach from the side.
  5. As the dog gets used to the brushing, you will be able to progress to opening the mouth wider and brushing the molars and the inside surfaces of the teeth as well as the outsides.
  6. Keep the brushing sessions light and fun for the dog, with lots of attention, praise and affection.
  7. If your dog gets anxious or resists, take a break for the day and try the next day again. You may have to try brushing the teeth in smaller sessions each day. Pretty soon, your dog will get used to the idea of having his teeth cleaned.

When you are done, be sure to give your dog lots of praise and maybe a dental treat to end the session with a positive note.

The end goal is to have a happy, healthy dog from tail to mouth. One of the best ways to do this is to keep your dog’s teeth as healthy as possible.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 709-368-7981.

Written by: Sunrise Animal Hospital