Tip of the Month

5/25/2010 Brushing Fido’s Teeth

An important grooming issue to keep your dog healthy is to brush her teeth on a regular basis. As with people, dogs teeth need to be checked for plaque buildup, bad breath, cavities, and missing teeth. Tartar that builds up on the dog’s teeth could lead to bleeding gums and an infection. If bacteria are allowed to enter the bloodstream, it can reach vital organs in the body. This can lead to disease and even death. Therefore, it is very important to catch tooth decay early.

From an early age, you should help your dog become accustomed to having her teeth brushed and having fingers poking around her mouth area. To do this, gently massage around the muzzle area, lifting up the lips, and opening her mouth. If you are patient with your dog during these gentling exercises, in time, you will see great results.

Many dogs come to love their teeth brushing experience. You should purchase a toothbrush appropriate for your dog’s size. They are available in several different configurations such as ones similar to people toothbrushes, dental wipes, finger brushes, and toothbrushes that can brush several surfaces at one time. There are also dental chews on the market and a chew-it-yourself toothbrush. It is very important to supervise the use of these items. It is also a good idea to feed your dog some kind of hard food instead of just wet to assist in the breaking down of tarter.

If your dog develops heavy tarter and plaque, you may have to have your dog’s teeth cleaned by a professional. Dogs that are at ease with people touching their mouth and their teeth should be able to tolerate the anesthesia free cleaning. Anesthesia free cleaning is available through several grooming shops and by mobile. If you have a dog that is not able to handle someone working on his or her teeth, you will have to take your dog to a veterinarian. Veterinarians perform teeth cleaning under general anesthesia.

In any case, it is much better to keep your dogs teeth clean so you do not have to endure any heath issues in the end.

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