According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA): dental disease not only affects the mouth, but can also lead to more serious health problems such as heart, lung, and kidney disease. Good dental hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. Unfortunately, it is one of the most overlooked areas in pet health. Studies by the AAHA reveal that nearly two-thirds of pet owners do not provide the dental care recommended by veterinarians.
Chances are if your dog has very bad breath, there is a problem with his teeth. Studies show that 98% of dogs with bad breath are suffering from periodontal disease, a result of plaque build-up. If left untreated, this can lead to a bacterial infection, which can enter the bloodstream and spread to your dog’s kidney, liver, heart and even its brain. So if you are not taking care of your dogs teeth, you could actually be shortening their lifespan.
As a part of the overall grooming process, it’s recommended to brush your dogs teeth at least 2 to 3 times a week. I use a child’s small toothbrush on my dog (Kobi, a Havanese) since he has a small mouth. I find this much easier than using a finger brush. I also use Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste in poultry flavor. This toothpaste keeps his teeth really clean. Kobi’s 5 years old and his teeth are still white. It’s important not to use human toothpaste on your dog as most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs.
What Is in Enzymatic Toothpaste?
Enzymatic toothpaste contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase. When glucose oxidase is in the presence of glucose and oxygen, it becomes antibacterial.The enzymes generate hydrogen peroxide that targets plaque and tartar. Unlike human toothpaste, which will make your dog very ill, enzymatic toothpaste doesn’t have to be rinsed from your dogs teeth or mouth because they can safely swallow it.
I usually brush my dogs teeth at the end of the day. At night, when I’m finished brushing my teeth I tell Kobi it’s his turn. While he’s not a big fan of getting his teeth brushed, he seems to like the poultry flavored toothpaste so he doesn’t make too much of a fuss.
If you’re having a hard time trying to brush your dog’s teeth, you might want to try an oral care spray. PlaqClnz is a zinc-based, easy-to-use oral care that treats and helps prevent bad breath, plaque, tartar and gingivitis. Used regularly, it keeps dogs’ breath fresh and protects against the early stages of periodontal disease.
Here’s how it works:
– Apply daily with a squeeze about ½ hour before or after feeding
– Keep your dog’s head level when applying, so it won’t trickle down the throat.
– It’s taste-free and alcohol free. Your dog’s natural licking will spread it around its mouth.
Want to learn more? Check out our post on Dog First Aid – Helpful Items to Keep at Home!