As our dogs use their teeth to explore the world, it is important to keep our fluffy, pawed best friends’ oral care healthy. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of 3 suffer from dental disease when most owners think their dogs’ teeth and gums are perfect. However, veterinarians and pet care experts will readily tell you otherwise.
Dr. Jomar Castro, a vet from Consult A Vet Animal Hospital said “This is usually caused by bacteria and we all know that a lot of our dogs don’t brush their teeth, unlike humans. Most of the time periodontal disease is not noticed until it is in an advanced stage.”
Pet parents should be able to identify the tell-tale signs that your dog might be in pain. Here are the three things you should look out for in your dogs:
“One of the easiest indicators of oral disease is bad breath,” he said. “Some pet parents believe that bad breath is something pets naturally have. They are often unnoticed and untreated.”
Whenever plaque builds up on your dog’s teeth, it will harden into tartar. In the long run, not only will this damage the structures supporting the teeth but also cause infection and tooth loss for your pet. If left untreated, it could potentially lead to heart, kidney, and liver disease for dogs.
Discoloration of Teeth and Bleeding Gums
“You would notice their teeth have already discolored. The discoloration that happens is a pinch color of yellow to brown, it’s not already pearly white. So that’s a major telltale sign that your dog might have periodontal disease,” Dr. Castro explains.
In addition to the discoloration of teeth, he notes that dogs can also experience bleeding of gums. He says, “When you push up the upper lip of your dog, you would notice that it is swollen, it sometimes reddish and when they eat, they bleed.”
Sudden Change in Eating Habits
“Sudden changes in eating habits of your dog or refusing to eat, they are already experiencing pain in their mouth, in the gums, or in the teeth, which follows that their food intake will decrease.” Dr. Castro notes.
To prevent dogs getting gum disease, he suggests brushing the teeth of dogs at least thrice a week. He said, “Pet parents should integrate tooth brushing into their dog’s routine slowly so it gets used to it to avoid serious dental problems.”
He also recommends using tooth care products such as Pedigree Dentastix, which he relies on himself. “For the longest time, I have used Pedigree Dentastix. It will keep tartar and plaque buildup at bay.” He adds, “It is also very affordable and easy to administer and is all around as you can buy it easily. The ingredients of it have been proven already.”
He emphasizes on giving dogs one stick per day. “It provides a deep clean with one stick a day,” he says. “It is low in fat and contains eucalyptus oil and green tea extract to improve the breath which is why it improves the breath of dogs.”
Dr. Castro also advises giving Pedigree Dentastix to your next best friend at an early stage. “Whenever you have a new puppy, start him right. Give them Pedigree Dentastix on a daily basis because it would be hard if you started late. It will really make your dog happy in the long run.”
Proper nutrition and good oral health strengthen the overall immune system of your dogs. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, take your dog to the nearest veterinarian for a check-up.
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