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Dental care for dogs

The importance of dental care is well known to people: we brush our teeth morning and evening, and some of us even follow the golden rule of brushing our teeth after every meal. But what about our loyal four-legged friends? How often should dogs care for their teeth, and what distinguishes plaque from tartar? We will clarify these questions.

Why is dental care important for dogs?

In nature, dogs' dental care was regulated naturally. Prey they killed required extensive chewing, and bones provided a hard surface that effectively abraded food residue. Fresh meat, straight from the bone, was part of the natural diet of our pets' ancestors long before domestication.

However, a common form of dog food today, especially wet food, is quick to devour and low in abrasion. The result: dental plaque.

Dental plaque, also known as plaque, is an almost invisible layer that forms on the teeth from food particles, saliva and bacteria. Plaque is usually found right on the gum line. If not removed by chewing or cleaning, it can solidify into tartar.

Tartar is easily recognizable as a brown, rough deposit and can no longer be easily removed. The bacteria that settle in it can lead to various dental problems.

Dog dental care is crucial to maintaining your pet's oral health and preventing bad breath, tartar buildup, and gum disease. Start care early as poor dental health can cause serious health problems.

Symptoms of dental disease in dogs

  • Bad breath (caused by the decomposition of food residue by bacteria).
  • Inflammation of the gums (recognizable by redness or even bleeding).
  • Pain when eating (clearly expressed by barking at the food bowl).
  • Refusal of food (can lead to nutritional deficiencies).
  • Reduced activity (or even complete withdrawal).
  • Excessive salivation (up to dripping of the lips).
  • Tooth loss (especially with periodontal disease).

Dental problems in dogs can lead to unpleasant bad breath, inflamed gums, pain when chewing, rejection of food, reduced activity, excessive salivation and, in the worst cases, tooth loss. If left untreated, the bacteria that build up in tartar can cause serious damage. Not only do they attack the gums, but if they enter the bloodstream they can affect vital organs. This can lead to blood poisoning (sepsis) and even death. Therefore, consistent oral hygiene is an absolute must.

5 reasons why you should care about your dog's dental health:

  1. Avoiding Pain: If your dog has dental disease, it can be painful. A toothache can cause your dog to not eat or be less playful.

  2. Preventing bad breath: Bad breath in dogs can be very unpleasant. Good dental care can help prevent unpleasant breath.

  3. Preventing expensive veterinary costs: Treating advanced dental disease can be expensive. You can avoid these costs through regular dental care.

  4. Avoiding Serious Health Problems: Neglected dental health can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease and kidney problems. Taking care of your dog's teeth can prevent such problems.

  5. Maintaining long-term dental health: With good dental care, you can ensure that your dog has healthy teeth even as he ages. This contributes to a longer and happier life for your dog.

Bad Breath in Dogs: Causes and Solutions

Bad breath in dogs, also known as “canine halitosis,” can have a variety of causes. It is important to identify the cause of bad breath as it may indicate underlying health problems. Here are some common causes and solutions for bad breath in dogs:

1. Dental problems: Tartar, gum inflammation and dental disease are common causes of bad breath in dogs. The solution is to regularly clean your dog's teeth and have veterinary checks. Your veterinarian can provide professional dental cleanings and tooth extractions if necessary.

2. Mouth Infections: Infections in the oral cavity, such as gingivitis or canker sores, can also cause bad breath. Veterinary treatment is required to treat the infection.

3. Digestive problems: Gastrointestinal problems such as gastritis or upset stomach can cause bad breath. Eating a healthy diet and avoiding spoiled or unsuitable foods can help.

4. Diet: Your dog's diet can have a big impact on his breath. Feed high-quality dog ​​food and avoid human foods that can cause bad breath, such as garlic or onions.

5. Oral hygiene: Cleaning your dog's mouth regularly can help reduce plaque and bad breath. You can use special dog toothbrushes and toothpaste or veterinary mouthwashes.

6. Water supply: Make sure your dog always has access to fresh water, as dehydration can lead to bad breath.

7. Health problems: In some cases, bad breath can indicate more serious health problems such as diabetes, kidney problems or liver disease. If your dog's bad breath persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, you should consult a veterinarian immediately

What really helps with dental care?

There are many interesting chews that will encourage even the laziest dog to use their teeth to remove plaque through abrasion. Chew bones and chew sticks are particularly popular because dogs like to chew on them. Some chew sticks have shapes that reach particularly well between the teeth. Additionally, some products contain ingredients that distribute in the dog's saliva and soften plaque so that it is easier to remove.

Our recommendation is: chewing products without sugar and ideally without grains, but with a high vegetable content, as they represent a lower source of carbohydrates.

Another artificial variant are chew toys, which come in different shapes and colors. The most popular models have chambers, knobs or other recesses into which, for example, the terrine or liver sausage cream can be filled to increase the chewing fun.

However, it is advisable to regularly check the condition of toys made of plastic to prevent brittle parts from being swallowed.

What else helps against plaque in dogs?

Supplements in the form of treats, powders and liquids also contain active ingredients that soften plaque, making it easier to remove by chewing or brushing. They can also kill bacteria and thus fight bad breath. Bad breath in dogs should not be viewed as normal, but as a warning sign.

There are proven dog dental care methods that can help maintain your pet's oral health. Daily dental care is the most effective way to maintain dental health.

How often is dental care necessary?

The frequency of dog dental care depends on several factors, including your dog's individual needs. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Daily tooth brushing: The ideal frequency is daily tooth brushing. If you can do this regularly, that's great as it is the most effective way to care for your teeth.

  2. At least several times a week: If you can't brush every day due to time constraints, you should try to brush at least several times a week. The more often, the better.

  3. Dental Care Snacks and Toys: You can include dental care snacks and toys in your dog's diet to support dental health between brushing sessions. Make sure to choose high-quality products.

  4. Vet Checkups: Schedule regular veterinary checkups to check your dog's teeth. Your veterinarian can recommend how often professional dental cleanings are necessary.

  5. Individual needs: Dental care frequency may vary depending on your dog's breed, age and health status. Some dogs are more prone to dental problems than others.

Remember that your dog's health may depend on his dental health, so care is important. The earlier you start taking care of your teeth, the better.

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