The Importance of Doggy Dental Hygiene
Did you know that around 80% of dogs over the age of three suffer from some kind of dental problem? That’s why it’s so important to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Many people seem to just expect dogs to have bad breath, and few people brush their dog’s teeth often enough. But dental hygiene is just as important to your dog’s overall health as things like nutrition, proper exercise and routine grooming.
Catching problems early can help to avoid dental disease and steep vet’s bills. Check your dog’s teeth regularly and be aware of the signs that might indicate a problem.
Checking for signs
Lift the lips all around the mouth, looking at the front and back teeth as closely as possible. Be gentle and use caution so you do not accidentally get nipped! Signs of a problem include:
• Reluctance to chew or crying out when chewing
• Increased salivation
• Red/puffy or bleeding gums
• Tartar/Calculus (hard coating on teeth that is usually brown or yellow, resulting from plaque build-up)
• Missing and/or loose teeth
• Anything else about the mouth that appears unusual
There are several things you can do to help keep your dog’s teeth healthy. Start a dental care routine as early as possible so he gets used to the feeling of having his teeth brushed and inspected.
Puppies have 28 deciduous teeth that typically fall out by about six months of age. By this time, your dog should be getting his teeth brushed regularly. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
1. NEVER brush your dog’s teeth with human toothpaste. It can make him sick. Use special enzymatic toothpaste made especially for dogs.
2. Daily brushing is recommended. If you consider brushing his teeth around the same time you do yours, it will be easier to remember.
3. Use a “finger brush” or special long toothbrush designed for use on dogs. This can help ease him into it, as they don’t feel as awkward as hard brushes.
4. You can also ask your vet to show you some techniques to make tooth brushing easier on you and your dog.
While it’s important to clean a dog’s teeth regularly, dental chews can give an extra boost to their daily dental hygiene routine.
HiLife Special Care Dental Chews Original are the UK's No.1 selling rawhide dental product*. They are made of natural hide to help you provide your dog with healthy alternatives, appropriate to its age, size and lifestyle.
Research shows that daily use of dental chews can reduce tartar build-up, help keep teeth and gums clean and healthy, and have the added benefit of keeping breath fresh. Because it’s natural for a dog to chew, dogs generally enjoy the treat much more than a toothbrush aswell. What's more there is also a spearmint flavour available too. Click here for more details.
* Source: IRI Multiple Grocers - Value Sales - 52 weeks to 4th January 2014.