Maintaining your canine companion's dental health is essential for their overall wellbeing. Plaque bacteria can enter the bloodstream and spread to the heart, kidneys, and liver, leading to a condition known as bacteremia. This can cause serious illness in dogs, so it's important to take preventive measures. Professional dental cleanings are the best way to keep your pup's teeth and gums healthy, but there are other options available as well.
The most common way to prevent oral disease in pets is to frequently remove plaque and tartar buildup on their teeth. If left untreated, dental disease can lead to tooth loss and painful abscesses, as well as systemic infections throughout the body. Proper dental care can help prevent a variety of dental health problems, such as periodontal disease caused by bacteria in the mouth. For those who don't have the time or ability to brush their pup's teeth, dental wipes are a great alternative.
Talk to your veterinarian about any dental products, treats, or teeth-specific diets you're considering for your pet. The American Veterinary Dental College does not recommend dental cleanings without anesthesia because they don't allow cleaning or inspection below the gum line, where most dental diseases occur. Gnawing on chew toys can also help scrape plaque off your dog's teeth. Many all-natural chews made from meat contain enzymes that promote dental health.
Dental health is an important part of your pet's overall health, and dental problems can cause or be caused by other health issues. If your pet becomes irritable or shows any changes in behavior, it could be a sign of a dental problem and should be checked out by a vet. Brushing your pet's teeth regularly is the most effective way to keep their teeth healthy between cleanings and may even reduce or eliminate the need for regular professional cleanings. According to the American Veterinary Dental College, most dogs show signs of canine periodontal disease at just three years of age. Pets are very good at hiding pain, so you may not know they have a serious dental problem until it's too late.