Although too often neglected, oral hygiene of dogs is a vital aspect of their health because tartar in dog represents a significant risk to their health. If you find that your dog has bad breath, that his teeth are yellowish or his gums very red or that he has dental pain, it is probably a sign that his teeth are not sufficiently maintained, so we must act. But the best solution, especially against tartar, is not to wait until the problem is apparent and to devote time to the health of your dog’s teeth. What are the main risks associated with tartar and poor tooth hygiene, and what solutions to remedy it? All the answers here so that your dog will bite life to the fullest!
Tartar in dog: the risks of a bad hygiene of the teeth
The main risk related to a lack of oral hygiene, it is the tartar. But where does it come from, and what are the consequences of its appearance?
Tartar: what is it?
As in humans, saliva in dogs’ mouths contains a large number of bacteria, which settle on the surface of the teeth. As they accumulate, they form a film called “dental plaque.”
The more this film thickens, the more the scale is mineralized, and then follow a series of inconveniences, ranging from the most benign to the most serious.
What are the main problems with tartar for my dog?
Among the direct consequences of a significant presence of tartar on your dog’s teeth, there are:
- The risk of gingivitis: the tartar that accumulates on the teeth attacks the gums, which eventually ignite. The gums are red and swollen, and the dog has trouble chewing.
- Bleeding: a direct consequence of gingivitis. These bleeds are due to the detachment of the supporting tissue of the tooth (the gums).
- Tooth relief: Again, this is a direct consequence of gingivitis. The support tissue is weakened and comes off; the teeth tend to take off, to fall. We then speak of periodontitis.
- Dental pains: dental pains are only a symptom of these tartar-related diseases. Often intense and very annoying, they sometimes push the dog to stop feeding, which can cause other problems: weight loss, etc.
- Bad breath: also called “halitosis,” it is one of the consequences of the presence of tartar and a lousy hygiene of the teeth.
- A decrease in the immune system and a higher sensitivity to pathogens and inflammations (arthritis, increased risk of heart problems, etc.) related to the spread of bacteria.
Note that in cases where tartar is present in large quantities, or when the dog is suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis, it is urgent to carry out a descaling with your veterinarian. It is most often done by ultrasound and under general anesthesia.
What dental hygiene for my dog to avoid tartar?
There are different methods to prevent tartar and maintain good oral hygiene in your dog.
Brushing the dog’s teeth
Brushing your teeth is probably the most recommended method to reduce tartar and ensure good teeth healthy for your dog.
It allows, in particular, to take off the dental plaque and to get rid of dirt present between the teeth. It acts between the gums and the base of the tooth.
The mechanical action of brushing, coupled with the use of a toothpaste, will have a significant antiseptic effect.
Brushing is done with either a soft toothbrush (recommended) or a fingerstall.
What toothpaste for dogs?
Warning! Be sure to use a toothpaste suitable for dogs. Fluoride found in human toothpaste is harmful to dogs. Besides, toothpastes explicitly designed for them are usually quite palatable.
How to brush my dog’s teeth?
The best way to be useful is to brush your dog’s teeth at least 3 times a week. Practice it gently from the first moments of your life so that this treatment is perceived as positive and “normal” by your canine companion.
If your dog is reluctant, no need to traumatize him daily, opt instead for doggie treats or dental sprays.
Dental sprays or “toothpaste spray.”
Very practical for the masters whose dog does not appreciate the brushing, the use of a spray can be possible. They help fight against the appearance of tartar.
However, if your dog’s teeth are already well-scaled, the spray will not be of much use. Then consider descaling and then maintain good oral hygiene.
Food at the service of oral hygiene of dogs
The myth of croquettes that prevents tartar
Apart from some unique formulations studied really for croquettes, even the larger ones will most often do not affect scale formation.
Not only do dogs swallow more than they chew on their croquette , but also, they are far too abrasive to do anything.
Except for particular foods, giving croquettes will not help oral hygiene. Moreover, bi-nutrition (add, for example of the pie with rations of croquettes) will not in any way negatively influence the formation of dental plaque or tartar, contrary to popular belief.
Because it is mainly the fibers of a food that fight effectively against the formation of tartar and dental plaque and not the strength of it.
Special treats and food supplements
Mostly in the form of sticks, some special treats sold commercially have an abrasive action on the teeth of your dog.
Some even contain active substances released during chewing like the seaweed Ascophyllum Nodosum and help slow the appearance of tartar. Natural supplements such as propolis, grapefruit seed extract, or even coconut oil are also beneficial for promoting good oral hygiene and in particular, to limit inflammations of the gums.
It is always better to favor dog treats with a natural and straightforward composition such as large pieces of dried meat, dried skin, particular roots to chew or deer antlers.
Natural does not necessarily mean: “good and safe,” bones, hooves, horns, and woods to gnaw may be the cause of digestive problems, even occlusions or even broken teeth.
The ears or feet of pigs can be poorly preserved and contaminated by molds or fungi. The bones and especially the chicken or turkey necks are very rich in minerals and can be at the origin of imbalances food (discover the list of toxic foods for your dog).
So you have to be careful, nothing is ever perfect, take the time to watch your dog, especially if he tends to go to great lengths on his treats to gnaw. Look at the quality of the donated products and choose treats of the right size and “strength.”
Dog dental hygiene and BARF?
The “natural” or BARF diet consisting of raw meat, prey, and raw fleshy bones, allows a real and beneficial mechanical action for oral hygiene. There is no better toothbrush than a chicken leg or aponeurosis!
Dogs fed BARF often have white teeth and gums in excellent conditions. This is one of the many benefits of this food!
The oral health of your dog is essential, do not neglect it.