By Brent Harte
The number one health problem with our pets is becoming a significant issue with dogs. Dog’s modern diet and health care is improving, as a result our dogs are living longer. The modern diet is improving the quality of nutrients our dogs are consuming and providing them with longer lives; however the increase in grain products and lack of bone is causing canine’s oral health to decline. The extra years in a dog’s life is allowing periodontal gum disease to reach levels that are very dangerous and painful to an aging dog. Veterinarians are able to treat dogs with various stages of periodontal disease however simple preventative measures performed by owners at home are the most effective oral care for canines. An immediate effect that should motivate most owners is your dog will have great breath.
Fortunately dog’s rarely get cavities or structural damage to the tooth, dog’s oral care is mainly affected by bacteria that collect along the gum line forming plaque. If the plaque is not removed minerals in a dog’s saliva combine with the plaque and form tarter (calculus) which also forms a protective membrane causing its removal to become difficult. Because plaque starts to mineralize after 3-5 days, daily care is the most effective preventative care for avoiding the need for more extensive treatments from a veterinarian.
Dogs who do not receive any oral care at home will develop periodontal disease. Tarter causes inflammation called gingivitis, this condition leads to bone lose in the part of the tooth that anchors it to the gums. As space develops between the tooth and gums pockets form that buildup unhealthy bacteria. Bacteria can now enter the bloodstream through these infected areas as well as the periodontal ligament. These bacteria can cause problems and serious infections in the kidneys, liver and heart.
The good news is with 3 easy steps and a few minutes a week, your dog’s teeth and gums can remain healthy and they will have great breath. First apply an oral gel or spray utilizing natural ingredients to remove tarter from the dog’s teeth at the gum line. This is usually applied at night every three days. Second brush their teeth daily with toothbrush designed for a dog for approximately 30 seconds, if their teeth are relatively healthy a canine tooth paste is not necessary. You can also use a finger toothbrush, there is no handle, but it fits over your finger and may be easier for some people to use. Third feed them dog treats designed to remove tarter by providing a substitute for the bone missing in their diets. Before beginning your new oral care program photograph their teeth. Use the photos to determine if you are spending enough time on cleaning their teeth. The goal is to keep it simple so you continue the process, the benefits to your dog’s health will be great along with their great breath.
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