Did you know that regularly brushing your dog’s teeth and providing them with a healthy diet and plenty of chew toys can go a long way toward keeping their mouth healthy? Many pets show signs of gum disease by the time they’re four years old because they aren’t provided with proper mouth care—and bad breath is often the first sign of a problem.
The best practice is to prevent periodontal disease from happening instead of addressing it once bad breath or another associated health issues affect your pet. This takes dedication and consistency from you.
When raising a child, parents brush their kid’s teeth until the child is able to do on their own. Our pets never mature to the life stage where they are fully capable of addressing their dental health without at least some human assistance. Promoting pet periodontal health is a lifelong concern.
Although most pet owners like to think that their pet’s dry food and chewing habits sufficiently promote optimal dental health, this is far from the truth. Dry food shatters when the pet’s tooth penetrates the surface and provides no cleansing effect unless a veterinary prescription dental diet is fed. Instead of being thoroughly chewed, kibble is often gulped down whole and provides no teeth-cleaning effect, leading to excessive calorie consumption and inefficient digestion of food.
Pets who like to chew toys, bones or dental treats can help to improve their own periodontal health. This is a great step but an incomplete one. Overzealous chewing of hard materials can lead to dental fractures and gingival bleeding, so watch your pet’s chewing habits.
Not all tooth surfaces or mouth parts are cleaned by the chewing process. You’ll still need to clean your pet’s teeth on a daily basis with a moistened toothbrush or dental wipe and pet-friendly toothpaste. Start daily cleaning early in your pet’s life so your pet can get used to the process. Your pet will thank you for your dental health promoting efforts.