Is Dental Care Important For Your Dog?
JustFoodForDogs
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If only we could get our pets to brush their teeth regularly! Well you know that can't happen . . .

but we can help our dogs take care of their teeth and gums. They don't, of course, realize how important dental care is to their health (and maybe you didn't realize it either).

Following are some facts

about dental problems that may either be causing your dog discomfort right now or might soon affect your dog's health; we'll also give you some tips on treating those problems.

Gingivitis:

Gingivitis is a gum disease that occurs when gum tissue becomes inflamed. If not treated, gingivitis will lead to periodontitis (described below); if it is not treated, gingivitis will cause your dog to start loosing teeth.

Periodontitis:

Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease that attacks not only the gums but also the bones that underlie the gums. Commonly called periodontal disease, this is the most common dental problem for dogs. Even relatively young dogs may have Periodontitis or the earlier-stage gum disease, gingivitis.

Imagine a year or two of buildup on your dogs teeth -- buildup of plaque, food particles and bacteria. If your dog has gum disease you may not have to imagine it, you will probably be able to see a near-white substance coating the teeth and gums -- that's the result of the bacteria.

Tooth fractures:

Dogs love to gnaw on things like bones and when they do they might develop small breaks -fractures of their teeth. Endodontic disease is the name for infections that develop inside these fractures.

Preventing the problems mentioned above is as simple as keeping your dog's teeth clean. Clean teeth means less bacteria and less bacteria means less disease . . . and the extra bonus of no more 'doggie-breath.'

Brushing your dog's teeth. The best way to keep your dog's teeth clean is by brushing them every day. That may sound like an impossible task but it's really not. Over time, if you approach it slowly and lovingly, your dog will accept tooth brushing as an enjoyable daily activity.

Important: If you think that your dog has gum disease or fractured teeth take the dog to a vet to have the condition treated and cleared up before you try brushing the teeth yourself. If the dog has diseased gums, any attempt at tooth brushing may be painful and from then on the dog will associate tooth brushing with pain.

Ideally, you should start brushing a dogs teeth when it's a puppy. As a puppy this will be more of a game than a threat and, over time, it will turn into an activity the puppy loves.

If your dog is older and has healthy looking teeth and gums, introduce it to a tooth brush by coating an old toothbrush with something the dog likes to taste; one suggestion is a paste made out of garlic salt and water. Let the dog lick it and even chew on it for just a second. The next day, the dog will recognize the tooth brush in your hand and come running over for another treat.I Gradually work your way into brushing it's teeth like that, day-by-day.

Eventually you'll need to get a toothbrush and toothpaste that is made specifically for pets; you'll find both in any good pet supply store. It is especially important to find toothpaste that is made for pets; don't try to use toothpaste made for people. Human toothpaste isn't intended for ingestion and since your dog can't 'spit it out' you need to get a toothpaste that won't make the dog sick when some amount is swallowed.

There are two types of pet toothbrushes,

one looks like a human toothbrush that is designed to brush a small child's teeth and the other is a finger brush. A finger brush looks like a large thimble with a pad or bristles mounted on it. Both types of toothbrush are fairly inexpensive so you may want to purchase one of each and see which one works best for you. Either way, as long as the toothpaste tastes good to your dog, it won't mind you 'messing around' in it's mouth and, eventually, it will even look forward to the daily ritual.

Have your dog's teeth professionally cleaned. If, for whatever reason, you don't want to or you can't brush your dogs teeth yourself, take it to a veterinarian and have the vet give the dog's teeth a professional cleaning. The vet will sedate your dog and do all the necessary scraping and cleaning of the teeth while the dog is sleeping.

Give your dog a checkup. Its a great idea to give your dog's mouth a regular checkup. You'll be looking for any broken, chipped or cracked teeth or any signs that the gums are not healthy. If you see any problems, get the dog to a veterinarian as soon as you can.

Protect your dog's teeth. Sometimes dogs need to be protected from themselves. A dog will chew on anything and the really hard things like some bones, rocks and other very hard items may eventually crack or break the dog's teeth. Get rid of the hard stuff and buy your dog some softer chew toys.

Buy some mouthwash for your dog. Nope! Not kidding! There are mouthwash products for dogs and just ignore that mental picture of trying to get your dog to gargle. You just add some of the mouthwash to your dog's water dish and the mouthwash will not only improve your dog's breath, it will keep the do's teeth clean and free of tarter.

As you can see, dogs have dental problems that are very similar to human dental problems and they benefit from dental care just like we do. For all the products suggested here for your dog's dental care, ask your veterinarian for his or her recommendations on the best products to use. Your vet is your dog's doctor and should be trusted like you trust your own doctor.

Many veterinarians stress the importance of oral hygiene because tooth and gum problems are common medical conditions seen in pets. If left unchecked, an unhealthy mouth can affect the liver, kidneys, heart and even the brain. 

So when you lean in to give your pet a smooch, ask yourself ìDoes my pet need a breath mint?î Studies show that 98% of pets with bad breath are suffering from severe plaque build up. Bad breath not only means that your pet's mouth may be a warehouse for unhealthy bacteria, tartar and plaque, but it can also point to unhealthy intestines. In addition, the quality of your pet's food can contribute to the status of your pet's breath. Low quality food can cause digestive problems, thus promoting bad breath.


Can I Share My Toothpaste With My Pet? Absolutely not!
Pets aren't like us: they swallow whatever you use to clean their teeth. Human toothpaste simply isn't edible. Nor is the heavy minty flavor really desirable to pets. Human toothpaste can give your pet some serious stomach problems.


Did you know?


Certain breeds of dogs and cats are genetically predisposed to unhealthy teeth and gums? For example, the Maltese is the number one dog breed with tooth and gum problems. In the cat world, the Siamese and the Abyssinian, charming as they are, have serious tooth problems and often get some of their teeth pulled during their youth. Other factors include viruses, bacteria and not enough abrasive foods.

It all starts with the gums looking almost red, and some of the teeth coated with tartar. When it comes to your pet's mouth, don't take anything for granted. When you examine your pet, slowly open his mouth with your fingers and ask yourself the following questions:

Does his breath smell like he just raided a rotten fish market? 

Are any of his canines or molars discolored (gray, brown or green)? (Keep in mind that a pet's teeth may be yellow due to early antibiotics like tetracyclineótotally normal.) 

Are his gums swollen and bright pink or angry red like a lobster with a sunburn?

Note that normal colored gums should be light to medium pink. For some dark colored cats and dogs, gums may be gray.

Do you see any sores on the gums, particularly if you have a cat?

They'll look like craters on the top or bottom gum or lip. 

Are his bottom teeth worn down like the soles of a shoe? 

Do you see any swelling or sores on his face around the lips, under the eyes or nose? Bad teeth can result in a manifestation of external sores.

If you have a puppy or a kitten, do you see any double teeth? 

Is he drooling like a newborn? Keep in mind that some dogs always drool, like the St. Bernard. If your pet is experiencing excessive drooling but doesn't usually, it could indicate some problem. 

Has he lost weight recently as a result of not eating enough? 

It's also important to observe you’re pet's behavior as far as food is concerned. Has your pet been approaching his food bowl reluctantly? Has he been eating slower than usual and has he exhibited trouble biting hard things? Does your dog or cat cry during or after eating? Does your cat have the tendency to pick up food, spit it out, pick it up again and finally throw it to the back with his tongue?

If you've nodded your head to two or more of any of the questions above, then it's clear that your pet has some dental health issues! You must take your pet to your veterinarian right away for an oral examination.

Here are the 5 best dog toothbrushes for 2020

1- Barkleys 360 Dog Finger brush

Barkley's toothbrush featured at scruffythedog.com

I like the ergonomic design of the Barkleys 360º Dog Finger brush Toothbrush. This toothbrush will make this process a piece of cake, you don't need to worry about lining up the toothbrush again!

2- Zadyx Stick Toothbrush for Dogs

Zadyx stick toothbrush for dogs at scruffythedog.com

Every single dog loves this Toothbrush Toy! Its incredible how all dogs once you throw this Zadyk Dog Toothbrush stick they cant stop cleaning, and by itself! Honestly I kind of think that this is the worlds most effective dog toothbrush just because of the stressless and effortless experience it provides.

3- Pet Republique Dog Dual-Head Toothbrush

Why I like to talk about this Dual-Head Toothbrush is because when you buy any product from the Pet Republique (Seller), we will donate 15% of the profits to the American Animal Rescue Society, where rescued abandoned dogs and cats are homed and loved. Their brushes are made from top materials; the hardness of the bristles is tested and controlled to lower the risk of harming your pet, yet optimize the effect brushing off the grime and tartar. A lot of people favor the two-sided design and have seen improvement in their dogs dental hygiene using this toothbrush.

4- iCare-Pet Ultrasound Toothbrush for Dogs

We all hate tartar build-ups, humans or dogs we both agree on this point. This iCare Ultrasound Toothbrush for Dogs comes with two scrapers that gently vibrate and work through your dogs mouth. What I love the most about this toothbrush is the LED light that allows you to better view the inside of your dog's mouth.

5- Arm & Hammer Clinical Gum Health Dog Toothpaste & Brush Kit

Arm & Hammer Dental Toothbrush kit for dogs

This kit is amazing because it includes a dual sided toothbrush AND a finger brush, as well as a tube of enzymatic toothpaste enhanced with baking soda. A one-stop shop for freshening breath and keeping the plaque and tartar in your dog's mouth cleaner than ever.

Dental care is an important part of caring for your pet.

Just like humans, dogs have teeth that can cause problems if they are not cared for with a proper dental routine. You may have already noticed, but dogs can suffer from bad breath just like humans can.

Your vet is an important part of this dental care. Ask your vet to show you how to brush your pets' teeth properly. Your vet knows how to brush their teeth properly so your beloved pet doesn't get gum disease or any of the other conditions associated with poor oral hygiene.

You are going to need to spend some time finding the right toothbrush for your dog. You can use a child's toothbrush ñ but it is recommended that you rather buy a special toothbrush for your pet. It will make brushing easier and will be worth the money.

To buy a toothbrush you can visit your vet or local pet supply store. You might be surprised to see how many variations of pet toothbrushes and toothpaste's there are. Rather ask for help if you are not sure about what kind to get. There are some rules for choosing the best brush for your dog. You need to make sure that the bristles are soft so they don't damage the dog's gums. You also need to make sure you choose the right sized brush (just make sure its' not too big or too small for your dogs mouth). Lastly check that the handle is big enough for you to comfortably get a grip on the toothbrush.

You cannot use human toothpaste on your dog. Rather use a special high quality toothpaste with ingredients specially formulated for dogs. You need to spend some time choosing your toothpaste too. Cheaper brands might use ingredients that are harmful to your pet, and there are some common ingredients can make your pet sick. Read the labels carefully and check that the toothpaste does not contain salt, detergents or enzymes as these are dangerous for your pet. There is a huge choice at most pet supply store's so ask for help and read the labels carefully.

Brushing your dogs' teeth for the first time can be difficult; especially if they are not used to it. This can be avoided by starting when they are puppies ñ but if it's too late for that don't worry. The key is to be gentle, speak in a soft voice and do not force the dog. He must learn that it is not a big deal. Start from the back of the mouth and work your way forward in small circular motions.

If your dog really does not want to allow you to brush his teeth without a fight you can use a towel first. Try rubbing his teeth so he gets used to the sensation as well as your fingers in his mouth. Speak encouragingly and softly; you can even sing a little tune to calm him down. After a few patient weeks the dog should allow you to brush his teeth without any hassles.

You should be brushing your dogs' teeth daily; but if you can't manage that ñ once every second day should be fine. It's important that you start too see your dogs mouth as your own. By doing this you will ensure that your dogs' teeth will last well into old age; and of course his dog breath will improve.

Does your dog's breath stink?

Unfortunately, routine dental cleanings at your vet can be both expensive and dangerous...

Gum Disease can lead to

  • Heart Disease
  • Kidney Failure
  • Liver Disease

It's shame that most dog owners don't realize that dental hygiene is as important for their dogs as it is for themselves. Teeth that have been neglected are subject to several types of mouth disease just like their human friends.

We know that if we don't brush our teeth, plague will build up and eventually cause tooth decay. The same thing happens to dogs. When plaque builds up and hardens, it becomes a coarse brown substance called tartar. As tartar accumulates, it can work its way under the gums and cause painful infections and gum disease. This goes on in the mouths of dogs just as it does in people. You brush your teeth every day, probably three times, but your dog depends upon you for his dental hygiene. Before jumping into any conclusions, if you are going the do it your self route, please just make sure about dosing the ingredients your going to be using, you don't want to upset your pups stomach or cause your dog any diarrhea for adding too much of any odor masking ingredient.

If you were for any reason unable to brush your dogs teeth, your can use any of the best dog dental sprays listed below.

1- Zesty Paws Dental Spray for Dogs

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What you might not realize, is that bad smell is likely a sign of dental disease, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 70%-80% of pets show signs of dental issues by age of 3.

The premium pet dental spray works at enzymatic level so you can be sure that it quickly eliminates the root cause of bad pet breath, periodontal disease plus plaque and tartar build up.

Shop On Amazon

Effective

  • Works at the enzymatic level, quickly eliminating the ROOT CAUSE of bad pet breath

Safe

  • 100% Hypoallergenic
  • Neem Oil-free
  • Non-Toxic
  • Alcohol-free

Easy To Use

  • Just add 3-5 sprays into your pet's water bowl AND 2-3 sprays along their gums and teeth (both sides). PETS LOVE THE TASTE so it's easy to apply.

Key Features:

  • Ingredients: Purified water, Aloe Vera extract, peppermint, spearmint, glycerin, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, baking soda, and stevia.
  • Works at an enzymatic level to deal with the root cause of dental problems and bad breath.
  • Can be used directly in your dog's mouth, added to their water or both.
  • Non-toxic and alcohol free

Brand: Pets Are Kids Too Shop On Amazon


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2- Leba III Pet Dental Spray

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Key Features:

  • Ingredients: Mints, roses, ethyl alcohol, distilled water
  • Works on the enzymes to change mouth chemistry
  • Requires 1 – 2 sprays twice a day depending on the weight of your pet
  • Can also be used for cats

Band: Leba III Buy on Amazon

This is an excellent product for keeping your dogs mouth healthier. I personally have used this product on my dog. Scruffy suffers from stomach issues which affected her breath, after her operation the bad breath didn't really go away and this product helped so much. Using the Leba III Pet dental spray will always keep your best friend from having expensive dental cleanings.

However, to get maximum results theres a way to use the Leba III Pet Dental Spray. If you don't follow the directions exactly, it will severely impact the effectiveness of this product."Give your pet no water or food or anything that could dilute Leba III, 30mins before and 30mins after treatment. Prevent grooming after treatment so that Leba III will remain in the mouth." Example: If you want to spray your pet's teeth at 9am, take away the food and water at 8:30am and don't put them back out until 9:30am.

I would highly recommend this product for any cat or dog with severe dental issues, or for just once-a-day use for dental maintenance.


3- TruDog Dog Dental Spray

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If you ever wondered why this product exists, well, TruDog was born out of love for the owner's cherished Great Dane, who suffered a health issue and needed more dietary nutrition than conventional pet foods offered.

TruDog Dental Spray is the easiest solution to keeping your dogs mouth healthy and clean round the clock. It's easy and effective when it comes to cleaning your dogs teeth and gums. With just a few sprays a day you can promote normal periodontal health and keep teeth nice and shiny!

Key Features:

  • Ingredients: distilled water, grapefruit seed extract, peppermint oil, grape seed extract, grain alcohol, rosemary oil, thyme oil and neem oil
  • Reduces plaque, controls tartar, kills bacteria
  • Promotes tooth and gum health
  • Greatly improves breath
  • Should be used one to two times a day

Brand: TruDog

Buy on Amazon

4- PetzLife Peppermint Oral Care Gel

Key Features:

  • Ingredients: Distilled Water, Grain Alcohol, Peppermint Oil, Grape Fruit Seed Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Thyme Oil, Neem Oil.
  • Helps to remove plaque and tartar
  • Helps to control bacteria
  • Freshen breath
  • Peppermint flavor
  • 100% All Natural

Brand: PetzLife

FOR BEST RESULTS, WITHHOLD FOOD AND WATER FOR AT LEAST A HALF HOUR AFTER APPLICATION.

Petzlife Peppermint Oral Care Gel is an all-natural solution for your dogs oral care needs. It is guaranteed to break down plaque and tartar and works under the gum line to help heal gum tissue. Petzlife Peppermint will also kill the bacteria that causes bad breath. While reading the product reviews, I came across an interesting one about this product, am just going to paste the review as is:

"We have 10x Rough Collies (Lassie) in our remote kennel, and 3 in the house. Tartar buildup can and does kill a dog - the bacteria will work it's way from the mouth down to the heart and soon there's nothing you can do. We lost a champion to this, and I've never forgiven myself. Anyway, you'll either have to brush every day or take them to vet for tooth cleaning/anesthesia every 30 days or so.

We've been using this for 10 years, and if used every 1-2 days, their teeth will remain pure white with no buildup. Not to mention good breath. If you get any buildup at all, it amazingly just pops off without painful scraping at all.
Don't monkey around and forget to spray it on then post bad reviews - that's not their fault. Do it religiously and frequently and you'll do your dogs a worldly favor. At dog shows all the top breeders use it for all breeds. It just works!"

All of the ingredients in Oral Care Gel are perfectly safe for your pet (and for people, too!): there are no side effects. The main ingredient - grapefruit seed extract - is one of the safest and most effective dental products ever produced.

5- Bodhi Dog Large Natural Dog Breath Freshener

Buy on Amazon

Key Features:

  • Ingredients: distilled water, spearmint extract, cinnamon, natural honey, cloves, aloe vera, and naturally based minerals
  • Gentle, improves breath and oral health in general
  • Prevents plaque buildup and controls tartar
  • Contains only 100% natural, safe ingredients
  • Should be applied liberally once a day

Brand: Bodhi Dog | Shop on Amazon

This dog breath spray is alcohol-free! An all natural, alcohol-free dog dental freshener that promotes healthy teeth and gums using natural effective ingredients such as the famous baking soda and spearmint. If your dog has an issue with the taste of their toothpaste, the Bodhi Dog Natural Breath Freshener has a mild and slightly sweet taste, and because its alcohol free it can be used daily with no problems of any kind. If you are thinking of using an oral spray on your dog everyday, thats the one. Using the Bodhi Dog is simple, all you have to do is spray it into your dogs mouth, again it can be used daily.

Final Words

If you aren’t taking care of your dog’s teeth right now, don’t feel bad…

You’re not alone! According to The American Animal Health Association, almost two out of three of pet owners don’t provide basic dental care recommended by their veterinarians. Considering four out of five dogs over the age of 4 already have some sort of periodontal disease, it's imperative to be proactive when it comes to the health of your dog's teeth.

Points to remember:
Use recommended dosage and apply the spray or gel to into the pet’s mouth, directly on the gumline if possible to speed up results.

Gel Tips:  Apply gel onto fingers and wipe onto the animals teeth and gums. Even wiping on the outside of your animals lips will do the trick as they will naturally want to lick it off. For cats, you may dab gel on top of their paw as they will lick it off as well.

Spray Tips:  For best results, hold animals lip up and spray directly onto the gum line. Do not worry if you cannot spray gum line directly as the product will still work with the saliva as the animal licks it around.

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Posted 
December 31, 2020

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