You have to love the signature doggy smile.
Sure, he’s probably just thirsty or catching his breath after a good run, but you just know he’s THRILLED with life. Especially with a grin so big, his tongue has to hang out over a full set of pearly white chompers.
But just like we humans, your dog’s teeth can collect tartar if they aren’t cleaned regularly. Unfortunately, this can lead to gum disease, tooth deterioration and loss, causing pain and difficulty eating, for your dog. If left untreated over time, dental disease can spread infection to other organs of your pet’s body, leaving him seriously sick as a dog. Which really bites.
With your help, however, your furry friend can keep that healthy smile for dog years on end. Here’s how:
Good dental care begins by swapping the Scooby snacks for a good quality, dry food. Feeding this to your dog will help prevent the bacterial plaque that hardens into tartar. Your vet may also recommend a special ‘dental’ food designed to reduce plaque and tartar, especially if your pet is prone to tooth problems related to his breed or genetic history. We’ll chomp to that!
Send plaque straight to the doghouse with special dental chewies, designed to clean your dog’s teeth. Check with your vet to find out more.
Most of us know how important doggy toys are for licking boredom. But did you also know a good chew toy can exercise your dog’s gums and clean tartar from his teeth? Simply choose a toy your dog can’t chew to bits, and without parts he can swallow. Or if you really want smiles, try a minty-scented squeezy friend, designed to freshen your companion’s breath. Can we say, smoochie-poochie?
Dental plaque bites, but brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the best ways to rid him of the gunk that leads to tartar and tooth decay. Even older dogs can be trained to accept having their teeth brushed – they are wiser, of course. Start by cleaning with a soft cloth and water for short periods, working your way to proper brushing using a pet toothpaste. Need a pointer or two? Your vet can show you how to brush those canines, lickety-split.
Nooooooo. Fight, tug and howl though he may, taking your dog to the vet for a dental exam is one of the most loving things you can do. A good doc will provide a thorough examination to determine whether there are any existing problems or tartar build-up. And if the playful patient (who’s probably not so playful at this stage) does have tartar, your vet will suggest having it removed through a professional cleaning and polishing, under anaesthesia. Once the tartar is removed from above and below the gum line, your dog – who is SUCH a good dog, after all that – is free to come home for some TLC and a follow-up exam, down the track.
Regular preventative dental care will keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy, making for an even healthier life. Now, that’s something to smile about, [cough] Rover.