Bad Breath and Dental Care


According to studies in the field, you could add up to five years onto your dog’s life if you watch out for your pooch’s dental care. If you have a pooch with stinky bad breath, then this article is just right for you!

Presence of bacteria and the toxins they create, have a negative impact not only on your dog’s breath which is the most obvious, but also mainly on your dog’s health. There are several stages of periodontal disease. Dentistry in case of major dental problems in dogs has not widely developed in Egypt yet.  A vet can usually carry out proper cleaning if previously neglected, yet that may often require that the dog  gets anesthetized, therefore we advise you to act in early stages or use preventive measures right from the beginning, not to have to let it get to a stage where surgical interventions is necessary.

Periodontal disease starts with a bacterial film on the surface of the teeth, or plaque. Plaque does not only cause bad breath but also painful gum infections. This plaque can easily be removed by brushing your dog’s teeth or by your pooch chewing on hard toys, treats or food. Dogs only feeding on dry food are less likely to form plaque. If this film in not removed in time, the bacteria will get more attached to the teeth and together with the calcium in the dog’s saliva become calcified. The porous texture of this surface, facilitates the storing of food residues and bacteria. This again is a main cause of Gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. If not treated this can cause loose teeth and even teeth to fall out at a later stage. A dog suffering from Gingivitis will show red swollen inflamed gums that easily bleed.

Prevention

Encourage chewing on chew treats, e.g. compressed rawhide chewables. Dry kibble or dry treats can play a role as well. Also playing, biting and chewing on special rubber dog toys can help. It has been proven that a meat based diet contributes greatly to optimum oral health.  Starting with dental care at early stages.

Dental Care

DO NOT use human tooth paste on your dog! Fluoride is extremely poisonous to dogs.

Try to introduce dental care, toothbrush cleaning procedure at an early age. Remember always make possibly annoying hygiene procedures a fun time with your pooch.

When using toothpaste made for dogs, it is ok for your dog to swallow it.

There are toothbrushes specially designed to clean your dog’s teeth. Many of them fit on your finger to make the procedure easier on you. Yet you can use a smaller human brush with soft bristles as well.

If accompanied by other preventive methods as in the top part of the list, it is recommended to do the brushing once to best twice a week. If not the brushing should take place on daily basis.

So how to clean?

Lift the dog’s lip and clean one area at a time. The back teeth touching the check are the ones mostly affected. The hardest part to clean is the inner side of the teeth, don’t worry much about that, it’s less likely for tartar to accumulate there.

Simple Inexpensive homemade toothpaste:

1 tablespoon baking soda (bicarbonate al soda in Egypt)
1 teaspoon water or chicken / meat broth for better taste

Optional additives for better breath
Dried Mint leaves – powdered
Cinnamon – ground
Dried parsley – powdered
Mix together into a paste and apply to the toothbrush

Symptoms

  • Bad breath
  • Yellowish – brownish tartar crust along the gums
  • Inflamed red gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Distress during eating and chewing
  • Change in eating and chewing habits (avoiding dry food)
  • Broken or crocked teeth
  • Loosing teeth
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive drooling
Written by: Jasmin Hussein

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