News & Advice

Gum disease is regrettably common but it can be prevented

Jun 1, 2019 | Dogs, Pet Health

Did you know that 75% of health problems seen by vets have ties to dental disease? Gum disease is usually silent. When it starts there are no outward signs and symptoms. Yet once it advances gum disease can devastate your dog’s mouth, causing chronic pain, eroded gums, missing teeth, and bone loss — a fate hardly fair to man’s best friend.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Though gum disease in dogs is regrettably common, it can be prevented.

Working with your veterinarian, follow these four steps to prevent or slow painful gum disease in your dog:

  1. Take your dog in for regular dental check ups and cleanings. Dental check ups are the only way to get a full picture of what’s happening in your dog’s mouth.
  2. Brush your dog’s teeth every day. You know that the best home care for keeping your pearly whites in top form is daily brushing – well it’s the same for your pooch. Patience, the right tools, and some guidance from your veterinarian or veterinary nurse can lead most pet owners to success.
  3. Feed your dog quality dog food. Some dogs will benefit from “dental diets” that help scrub their teeth as they chew, or from foods that have additives that prevent plaque from hardening. Talk to your vet about what diet is right for your dog.
  4. Offer safe toys and treats for daily chewing. Chewing every day on tooth-friendly goodies is another way to help prevent gum disease in dogs.

Some added benefits are:

  • Fresher breath – chews and toys help to remove food that has become stuck in teeth. Otherwise, this food sits there rotting and bad breath develops.
  • Whiter smile with each bite – chewing helps to remove the build up of plaque on teeth slowing the development of yellow teeth.
  • Relieve boredom – just like us, dogs who have nothing to do can get bored. Boredom can result in behavioural problems, separation anxiety and inappropriate chewing. Toys allow your dog to stay active without being destructive.
  • Satisfy natural urge to chew – dogs, especially teething puppies have an innate urge to chew. Look for treats and toys that aren’t hard, like: rubber balls, thin rawhide strips that bend, as well as rubbery toys in which you can hide treats. (Beware that hard rawhide can cause gastrointestinal problems if your dog swallows a large piece.) To prevent fractures and broken teeth, avoid hard treats of any kind, such as animal bones (raw or cooked), nylon bones, or cow and pig hooves.

For further information about your pet’s dental care please chat with your local Anexa Vet.

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