What is a natural diet?
The dogs’ ancestor, the wolf, ate what he could hunt, and he ate it all—fur, bones and stomach content. The crunchy part of this diet helped to prevent plaque build-up and gum disease.
It’s unlikely that your dog is going to be doing much hunting in his own back yard, so try to control plaque and tartar build up by offering a mainly dried food diet along with suitable commercial chews.
If for some reason your dog needs to eat a tinned food diet, extra attention should be given to his oral hygiene.
Statistically, by three years of age, about 80 per cent of dogs will show signs of teeth and gum disease, which left unattended can lead to serious health problems.
What are signs of dog dental disease?
- Plaque is a biofilm that is usually colourless and builds up over time on the dog’s teeth. The micro-organisms that form the biofilm are mainly streptococcus mutans and anaerobes. If the plaque is allowed to remain on the surface of the dog’s teeth, it mineralises into tartar.
- Tartar is caused by the continual accumulation of minerals from saliva on the plaque. The rough surface of the plaque provides an ideal host for more plaque formation. Tartar then proceeds to destroy the dog’s gum line. Once the gum line has been destroyed, the dog can lose teeth.
- Halitosis (bad breath), and periodontal disease are the result of neglected plaque and tartar problems. Dogs also suffer considerable pain from dental disease—just as we do.
- The problem can progress further as bacteria in the dog’s mouth can also affect other parts of the body, such as the heart and kidneys, causing life-threatening diseases.
Dog teeth cleaning
Do dogs really need their teeth brushed? Yes, they do! Clean their teeth after the main meal. Use only dog toothpaste. This is necessary because dogs cannot spit out and should never swallow human toothpaste. Find the right sized dog toothbrush and brush their teeth regularly.
By training your junior pet to accept teeth cleaning, you may cut down on dog dental bills.
However, not all dogs will accept teeth cleaning. Chihuahuas and other small breeds sometimes prove difficult.
Dog dental care is a very important but often overlooked part of a dog’s general health, so budget for regular scaling, polishing and even teeth extractions for dogs that are prone to plaque, tartar and gum disease.
Dog dental care involves regular, yearly check ups. This gives your vet time to manage and control dental disease before it causes further health problems.
This is general information only, consult your vet about dog dental hygiene.
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Tags: dog dental care, dog health concerns, dog oral care, gum disease dogs