Oral Health: Not Just For Humans
February is National Pet Dental Health month, and when your beloved pup is due for their oral health exam, there are usually always warning signs alerting you. From smelly breath, to lost teeth or even changes in their eating and chewing habits, you will know it is time to take action. On average, more than 80 percent of dogs that are over the age of four years are already being affected by periodontal disease! However, when you integrate good dental hygiene at home as well as regular dental checkups with your vet, you can ensure that your pup’s breath and smile will stay healthy and fresh. Being proactive about your pup’s oral health now will also save you time, stress and a good amount of money later on. Medical dental cleanings can be pretty pricey and if you happen to wait until your dog absolutely needs it, there is more than likely an infection that has already set in their mouth which exposes them to other harmful diseases of the heart, kidneys and major organs.
Below are some examples showing you how to prevent your pup from obtaining oral health issues as well as easy ways to keep their mouth happy and healthy:
Brush Those Canines
You may be thinking to yourself, that sounds much easier than it actually is and you may be right. However, if you have time, patience and concern for your pet’s oral health, brushing their teeth can actually turn into something fun and proactive. It can also pose for a bonding session between you and your faithful fido, making them trust you even more over time. It is highly recommended to incorporate teeth brushing with your dog as young as a few months of age, before gum disease can even start making an appearance. But, if you happen to have a rescue dog or are starting later than advised, there is still always a chance to nurse their mouth back to prime health. Be sure to only use a Vet approved dog toothpaste for your pup. Human toothpaste has too high of an amount of fluoride for animals which can be toxic or even deadly to them.
You can ease your pet into teeth brushing by simply massaging your finger around their teeth with some toothpaste. Also, by working in positive reinforcements while doing this will remind your pup this is a fun experience and something they can be rewarded for.
Next, introduce them to the toothbrush, making sure the toothbrush is a pet only toothbrush or even a finger brush which is usually easy for you and cheap.
Always make sure you are spending a lot of time on their gum line as well as underneath their teeth. Stubborn plaque can build in these areas and are hard to remove after a while.
Opt for Toys, Treats and Food that are Good for their Teeth.
Relying on this method only for dental cleaning is not recommended but it can help with bad breath and reducing plaque and tartar buildup. A strict raw diet as well as giving them fresh and healthy treats such as certain fruits and vegetables can also assist in maintaining good oral health.
Carry on with Checkups
Pets are similar to humans as far as their need to keep up with their doctors. Comprehensive examinations, blood work, dental cleanings and overall care will guarantee a healthy long life for your pup. Your vet will also go over with you proactive measures you can take to better your dog’s oral health. Be sure too, to consult with them right away if you notice any changes in their oral health or any of these stated warning signs:
- Bad Breath
- Pain in your pet’s mouth
- Gum Bleeding
- Cracked or Damaged Teeth
- High amounts of tartar or plaque
- Oral Lumps
Although February may be the only month of the year that brings awareness to Dental Health for Pet’s, dental health and cleaning rituals should be practiced everyday year round for all pet owners!
About Walk’n Dogs – A Dog Care Company | Winter Park, FL
Rachel has been working in the Pet Care Industry for the last few years and started her career in a local Canine Health & Fitness Center that also incorporated canine hydrotherapy, dog daycare & boarding. While working at Rocky’s Retreat, under the previous ownership of Sherri Cappabianca and Toby Gass, Rachel became certified in canine hydrotherapy and they taught her everything she knows about canine care, hydrotherapy, health and fitness.
Rachel is currently the owner/founder of Dip’n Dogs Canine Hydrotherapy and Walk’n Dogs – A Dog Walking Service in the Orlando, FL area. Dip’n Dogs provides water therapy for dogs with any orthopedic condition, degenerative disease, injury or obesity. Walk’n Dogs provides in-home visits for dog walking, pet sitting, pet taxi and pet errands. Each service is customized to fit each dog and their needs. Rachel caters to the Winter Park, Baldwin Park, Maitland, College Park, and Altamonte Springs, FL areas.
Rachel is also the owner and dog mom to her two beagles, Leo and Lola.