Dental Care for Dogs – It’s Not Just About Doggy Breath!

Written by CMN News Service

Guelph, ON

“Doggy breath” isn’t a nuisance that comes with the territory of choosing to have a canine companion. That pungent smell that you catch a whiff of when your dog gets too close is an infection. This bacterial pollution does so much more than just smell bad. These nasty oral bacteria eat away at the bone, ligaments and gums surrounding the teeth. Periodontal disease is painful and we need to do something about it.

The phrase “dental cleaning” has a cosmetic air about it and for many clients is interpreted as a luxury rather than the necessity that it is. Professional dental prophylaxis is a vet’s first defense against infection, clearing out unwanted bacteria from under the gum line, halting it in its tracks. Another step you may want to consider is having radiographs taken of your pet’s teeth to determine and address the problem areas, thereby relieving your pet’s oral pain.

Professional dental therapy is the first step, but without preventative measures periodontal disease will rapidly set in again. The great news is that there are a lot of options out there. Working together with your vet, you can build a dental plan that best suits you and your pet.

The best dental homecare is one that can be done on a daily basis. Tooth brushing remains the gold standard of dental care and anyone, yes anyone, can do it. Brushing your dog’s teeth on a daily basis may seem like a daunting task to some, which is why many clients avoid it. However, choosing no preventative maintenance can set your pet up for a lifetime of dental challenges. Try to introduce brushing to your pet gradually and gently. Start by asking your vet to show you the proper technique and practice on your pet periodically until you can integrate it into your daily routine. If you’re not able to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis there are alternatives for dental care such as dental diets and chews, water additives, wipes and dental sprays.

Early intervention and consistency are key to preventing and slowing periodontal disease. Ultimately, you are the advocate for the health of your furry family members. The time to be proactive about your pet’s oral health is now. Start the conversation with a veterinary team member today!

For more information:
Colleen McElwain
Canadian Animal Health institute
(519) 763-7777

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