How often do you look at your dogs teeth? Have you ever notice your dog having bad breath? Bad breath can be an important signal about your dog’s dental health which is crucial to their overall health. Bad breath signals that there is a serious issue or set of issues present. See serious warning signals listed below. Due to the fact that bad breath is a symptom of a larger issue, dental care is a very important component to care taking your dog. If you are seeing any of the signals listed in this blog seek veterinary assistance immediately!!! Dental issues are not only painful but they are also extremely dangerous. Bacteria in the mouth can easily enter the bloodstream and lead to systemic illness such as heart disease and systemic infections. Untreated gum diseases also stresses immune system eventually bring on additional serious health issues.
Signs of gum diseases or other health problems in dogs include:
- Bad breath or fowl order from mouth
- Drooling excessively
- Difficult chewing
- Mouth sensitivity
- Pawing at the mouth
- Red or bleeding gums
- Loose teeth or lost teeth
- Loss of appetite or drinking of water
- Depressed or irritable moods
- Poor dental care (teeth cleaning care)
It is important to schedule regular oral exams with your vet. Regular brushing at home can be helpful to limit plaque build up and help keep your dogs mouth and teeth cleaner. If you have never brushed your dog’s teeth before (best to start when they are young if possible) it can be helpful to start by gently massaging the muzzle first daily helping them to get use to your hands around this area. Then gradually and gently put a finger inside the mouth and gently massage one side of the upper gum line and then the next day the lower gum line. This will getting your dog comfortable with you touching their mouth and gums. As puppies it is much easier as they are more receptive of you lightly touching these areas and as time goes on they will be more comfortable with you opening and examining the inside of their mouth. Practicing touching this part of a dog is a way to love on your dog. It can be a very gentle fun loving game that helps them not feel so panicked when there is an issue that needs tending to. It could also make a vet trip a lot less dramatic for them,you, and the vet! Keep in mind when touching or brushing your puppies teeth that they may be at the stage of losing their baby teeth and their mouth could be more sensitive or even painful. It can be important to take a break from trying to brush their teeth or massage their gums until their permanent teeth come in.
There are specific toothbrushes made for dogs and also finger toothbrushes that you can use. You will want to use an enzymatic tooth solution or a homemade toothpaste (recipe below.) You can also find dog safe toothpaste at most animal supply stores, search online, or ask your veterinarian.
DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE as it contains ingredients that are hazardous to dogs if swallowed.
As dogs get older it is better to brush more frequently and if your dog is just a pup, brushing every so often will be beneficial not only for their teeth and gums but for getting them use to touch in these vulnerable areas.
Homemade toothpaste recipe:
- 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp baking soda
- 1 drop organic peppermint oil
Mix all the ingredients together into a paste and use a dog tooth brush and gently scrub your dog’s teeth clean. Click the link below for more recipes on how to make homemade dog toothpaste!
Also here are some dog toothbrushes that are commonly used and can be found at most pet stores or from your local vet or you can order online!
If you want to purchase toothpaste here’s a link for safe toothpaste for dogs!
Information provided by Dr. Karen Becker from an article in “The Essential Dog Magazine”.