Dog Dental Care Tops List Of Most. Frequently Diagnosed Health Problems

DogDo you consider yourself a good dog owner?

Is Fido not only the happiest pup on the block, but also the healthiest?

There are nearly 44 million U.S. households that own approximately 74 million dogs. Although many of these owners treat their dog more like a family member and less like an animal, most are unaware of one of the biggest health risks for their dog.

Periodontal disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. In fact, more than 80 percent of dog s have it by the time they are 4 years old.

Periodontal disease begins when bacteria and food debris build up along the dog’s gum line. Plaque is created and, soon after, tartar forms on the teeth. Eventually the gums swell, and pockets form that can trap bacteria and lead to more serious problems.

Doggy breath, loose teeth, bleeding gums, mouth pain and even infections in the heart, liver and kidney are signs of advanced periodontal disease, says Jan Bellows, DVM and owner of Hometown Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic in Weston, Fla. To avoid these health problems, owners must take steps to care for their dog’s teeth-much like they care for their own.

Only one in five owners have ever attempted to brush their pet’s teeth and only 2 percent brush with enough frequency to maintain proper oral health.

In addition to brushing, Dr. Bellows uses ORAVET&8482, a plaque-prevention gel that stops disease-causing bacteria from attaching to the teeth. It is the only sealant available on the market.

After an in-clinic cleaning, the sealant is applied to the dog’s teeth, creating an invisible barrier that reduces bacterial plaque adhesion. Owners then apply the odorless, tasteless homecare gel to the dog’s teeth once a week. It typically takes less than a minute to apply.

As a veterinarian and as a pet owner, this gel gives me a valuable tool in preventing oral disease in dogs, says Dr. Bellows. It’s easy to use and is a perfect complement to tooth brushing, dental diets and dental chews.

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Dental Care For Dogs

DogSome people don’t realize that dental hygiene is as important for dog s as it is for human beings.

Just like in people, dogs’ teeth can gather plaque after eating. When plaque builds up and hardens it becomes a coarse brown substance called tartar. As tartar accumulates it can work its way under the gums and cause painful infections and gum disease. This goes on in the mouths of dogs just like it does in people. You brush your teeth every day, probably three times.

What does your dog do?

Teeth Brushing for your Dog

Veterinarians recommend that dog owners brush their dog’s teeth at least twice a week to keep the buildup of tartar at a minimum. Most pet supply stores carry specially designed toothbrushes and toothpaste just for dog s. Remember that a dog ‘s sense of taste and smell is far more acute than that of a human and the zesty, tingly, mint taste of toothpastes for people will be extremely awful to a dog . Try brushing Rover’s teeth with Crest just once and it will likely be the last time he lets you anywhere near him with a toothbrush. Use the specially designed doggie toothpaste.

Dental Chew

Some people don’t have the time or patience to brush their dogs’ teeth on a regular basis. If you’re one of these, you’ll want to care for Chopper’s choppers in another way. A dog’s natural tendency to chew is a built-in dental care mechanism. Dog biscuits break into small chunks when chewed and rub against the teeth, providing a cleaning service. There’s no substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth, but if you can’t do that, make sure he gets some sort of crunchy dog biscuit on a regular basis.

Mouth Diseases in Dogs

Dogs that do not receive proper dental care and do not have access to crunchy teeth cleaning foods run the risk of several types of mouth disease. These can be as mild as gingivitis (a gum disease that results in swollen, inflamed gums) and as serious as a bacterial infection that can spread through the dog’s bloodstream causing damage to vital organs. You owe it to yourself and your dog to take care of his teeth.

Doggie Dentistry

Dental services are available for dogs, just like they are for people. A dog’s teeth can be filled, capped, and extracted if necessary, just like a human’s. The best course of action, however, is to avoid the need for such services by properly caring for your dog’s teeth. If you can avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort for your furry friend, you should do so. Preventative doggie dental care can save you money as well. Doggie dental procedures can be quite costly.

 

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