Pet care 101: Four tips to keep your dog’s teeth healthy

Believe it or not, taking care of your dog’s teeth is as important as looking after your own.

Just like us, our dogs experience plaque build-up if left on their teeth. This turns into tartar, accumulates around the gum line, irritates the gums and eventually leads to inflamed gums (known as gingivitis), which is the onset of gum disease. You may not know it, but this can become the root of serious issues as your dog ages. Causing teeth to fall out and leading to bacterial infection in vital organs, if it happens to get into their blood stream. Taking care of your dog’s teeth will not only keep your pet healthy, but also help you avoid expensive dental bills.

Here our four tips will help you ensure your dog keeps their pearly whites, healthy.

Tell-tale signs

Your vet will be able to spot any problems during your dog’s annual check-up, but in between that time, here are some signs you should look out for. Yellow and brown tartar deposits on the gum line, difficulty eating, swollen and bleeding gums and bad breath. Remember, dogs can have bad breath for a variety of health reasons so don’t dismiss a foul smell as doggy breath.

Start brushing your dog’s teeth

In much of the same ways you take care of your own; regular brushing, a good diet and the occasional check-up, help to keep your dog’s teeth healthy. Try to use toothpaste specifically designed for pets. They are safer than the ones we use, as these can cause distress due to the foaming and an upset stomach. What about the toothbrush? Depending on the size of your dog’s teeth and mouth, you may be able to use a regular toothbrush. Again, there are specially designed brushes that fit on your finger to make brushing easier too. However, you can always ask your vet for their advice.

A regular cleaning routine

Although brushing is easier if you begin while they are still young, a dog of any age will eventually get used to it. You should brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week but once a day is best. Always start with plenty of reassurance to calm them down. Let them have a tiny taste of the toothpaste, then begin to gently brush their teeth in a massage-like motion. This allows them to get used to the sensation.

Brush in a circular motion, paying particular attention to where the tooth meets the gum. When you’re almost finished, brush vertically towards the inside of the mouth to clear any plaque you’ve dislodged. They might not like it at first, but be patient, you’ll get there in the end.

Food for oral care

There are specially formulated dog foods that can reduce tartar and avoid the onset of gum disease. This is the simplest way of making sure your dog gets some form of ‘brushing’ each day. For example, the  Vet Essential dry pet food range from Hill’s includes an unique kibble technology that provides clinically proven cleaning action. Another option, which your veterinarian might recommend, includes the Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d which is formulated to slow down and even prevent plaque and tartar. Remember, keeping your dog’s teeth in good condition is essential for their overall health.

This article is brought to you by Hill’s Pet Nutrition UAE. Hill’s Mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and their pets. Hill’s delivers the highest quality dog and cat food products formulated to meet a diverse spectrum and unique needs of your pet. Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d and Vet Essential range is exclusively available to veterinary clinics only. Consult your nearest vet to find out what will be the best for your pet. For more information, follow the conversation on their socials @HillsPetUAE on Facebook and Instagram.

If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in reading more from Hill’s Pet Nutrition here.

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