Dental care for dogs: tips for healthy teeth
How do dogs get plaque and tartar?
Soft plaque can be caused by food residue between the teeth, incorrect nutrition and the accumulation of bacteria. When these meet with the minerals in saliva, plaque quickly turns into unfavourable tartar, which can only be removed by a professional veterinarian.
Why tartar is dangerous for dogs
Gum inflammation in dogs, also known as gingivitis, can be caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar due to poor oral hygiene. Inflamed gums quickly become the focus of germination, causing gums to recede and the jawbone to suffer. From there, bacteria spread unhindered, especially under the gums. Special care is required because inflammation of the gums can lead to secondary diseases such as periodontitis and paradontosis. The dog’s teeth can become loose, which at the same time leads to the loss of teeth. Oral hygiene is therefore an important issue for dog owners from the outset to prevent these serious consequences.
How to recognize diseased dog teeth
Clear indications of diseased quadruped’s teeth are a yellowish-brown coloration as well as discolored edges on the gums. In this case, it is quite obvious that a bacterial case exists, which should be fought immediately. Severe bad breath can also be a sign of plaque and inflammation in the mouth. The reddened and swollen areas caused by gum inflammation are very painful for dogs and cause very unpleasant smelly breath.
Removal of plaque and tartar on dog teeth
While hard, fixed tartar can and should only be professionally removed by a veterinarian, you can remove soft plaque from the teeth at home. However, if your dog has already developed gum problems, you should be very careful not to injure your dog and not to cause further suffering. If you are unsure, please seek advice from a vet first. In order to prevent the development of tartar and the associated pain and deficiency symptoms caused by refusal to feed your dog, we have collected some tips and options for you below.
Gnawing as natural dental care
Intensive chewing automatically rubs the teeth and the self-cleaning function of the saliva flow is stimulated. For this reason, dry food should not be softened before consumption. From the perspective of dental care, dry food is also more suitable for feeding than many types of wet food, which are simply swallowed as porridge. Fresh muscle meat requires much more chewing, but natural teeth cleaning is even more effective if the dog is allowed to gnaw on a bone from time to time. This cleans the tooth surface and removes plaque at least partially. Please always make sure that bones are uncooked: Dogs should never be given pork or poultry bones for consumption, as they can splinter and thus pose great danger. Other alternatives for natural dental care by gnawing are chewing roots, sticks made of coffee wood or deer antlers. The increased saliva produced during chewing prevents dental deposits from settling, so that tartar does not appear in the first place.
Rubber toys for dental care
Dog toys made of rubber can also help with the dental care of your furry friend. The material strengthens the jaw muscles, polishes the teeth and massages the dog's gums. The mostly integrated dental hygiene brushes are especially designed to clean the special dog teeth mechanically. In addition, these dental hygiene toys often have an attractive minty smell; in this way, fun and usefulness are combined in an uncomplicated way.
Dental care treats for dogs
It is extremely sensible to make sure that all food, chewing snacks and treats you feed your dog are sugar-free. Artificial additives such as preservatives and colorants can also have a negative effect on your dog's dental health. A range of chewing snacks, whose recipes are explicitly designed to clean the teeth, support the dental care of four-legged friends, In other words: tasty teeth brushing. The special consistency of these dental care treats in combination with active cleansing ingredients playfully supports the health of dog teeth and gums.
Brushing dog teeth with micro fleece
It also makes sense to brush your dog’s teeth in the classic way. This works either with an extra-soft children's toothbrush or, even easier, with a special toothpaste or fingerpad for dogs. Very few quadrupeds enjoy this procedure, but with a little practice they usually let their favourite people do it for them. Toothpaste in dog-friendly flavours is especially helpful. It is designed for the special needs of dog teeth and provides a more relaxed four-legged friend thanks to its delicious smell to them. The visible outer surfaces of the teeth should be cleaned from deposits at least twice a week; if time permits, even daily. Please never use toothpaste for humans when brushing your dog's teeth, as its ingredients are absolutely not suitable for dog teeth. If your dog doesn't want to have its teeth brushed with a micro fleece fingerpad or toothbrush, dental care drops can be another option. These are simply drizzled on a cotton pad and rubbed onto the dog's gums and teeth once a week. This type of drops can be effective even in the case of tartar and heavy plaque build-up.
Dental care for puppies
It is best to get your dog used to tooth cleaning with a brush or finger pad as early as puppyhood, as the changeover becomes more and more unpleasant for the dog as he gets older. If you prefer a less complicated option, cattle bones, chewing roots, pieces of antlers or coffee wood sticks are also ideal for natural dental care for puppies. In addition, the jaws are strengthened and the young dog has a nice, exhausting occupation. Please note that many dental care chewing snacks are only suitable for dogs from 12 months of age and older. You should therefore go without them until your four-legged friend is at least one year old.
Check your dog’s teeth regularly
Checking your dog's teeth on a regular basis is essential to quickly find out if something is wrong. If your dog has worse bad breath than usual or suffers from loss of appetite, inflammation in the mouth can be the cause. Even slight discolouration of the teeth should be taken as an opportunity to reconsider your dog's oral hygiene. If in doubt, it's worth asking a vet for advice - not only do you want to spare your four-legged friend from pain, but you certainly also want to avoid very expensive dental operations. With this in mind, we hope you enjoy trying out these options - we hope that you will find a suitable dental care solution for you and your pet.