Oral health in a dog is one of the most overlooked yet highly important constituents of their overall health. According to statistics it has been found out that a very high number of dogs suffer from dental or oral health issues. In fact, veterinarians have reported that a majority of canines have some degree of dental or oral issue by the time they are three. Though it might seem like a very small issue, if this problem is not taken into consideration as soon as possible, it might become a life-threatening ailment. As pet parents, we should be aware of what might affect your dogs, how you can help them and how you can help prevent this.
6 Common Oral Problems faced by Dogs
1- Plaque and Tartar
Plaque and tartar are one of the most common dental ailments in dogs. When plaque or tartar starts building up on your little one’s teeth, it starts affecting not only the tooth but also the tissue around it. It appears as a tan or brown deposit on their teeth. Dogs develop plaque on their teeth when food particles, bacteria, and saliva come together. When plaque is left untreated, it starts mixing with the minerals in the mouth and forms a hard layer known as tartar. This tartar causes decay, gum disease, and other oral issues in dogs.
Just like toothache in humans, dogs go through toothache as well. This can be due to an ongoing dental issue or an external factor. Biting too hard or some unforeseen accident can also cause toothache in dogs. One thing has to be kept in mind though, there might be no signs of toothache in dogs. Dogs have evolved to hide pain, their animal instinct is to hide any sort of weakness. Thus regular checkups are a necessity.
3- Systemic Illness
Besides causing a lot of pain and discomfort in dogs, dental issues can also be a cause of various systemic illnesses such as kidney disease and heart disease. Any kind of oral issue needs to be seen with the same concern as any other problem. These problems if left unattended will cause severe issues in the future which may even become life-threatening.
4- Bad Breath
Bad breath can be treated an issue as well as a symptom of dental illness in dogs. Bad breath can be due to their diet or even due to the bacteria build up in their mouth. Bad breath is an indicator that something is wrong with your little one’s health. Get them checked by your veterinarian if needed.
5- Retained Baby Teeth
This is also known as retained deciduous teeth. In the process of teething the puppy teeth fall out to be replaced by adult teeth. Sometimes in a few dogs, the deciduous teeth do not fall out. This can cause crowding due to the extra teeth and make it difficult or even impossible for the new teeth to grow.
Stomatitis is when the oral mucous membrane inflates. This can affect wide portions of the mouth and can be quite painful as well. This can become very dangerous if the bacteria or the infection enters the bloodstream. Pain, bad breath and an ulcerated tissue are a few symptoms of this disease.
Although teething cannot be classified as an issue or problem, it is a dental occurrence that causes some pain and discomfort in dogs. Teething is a natural process that takes place in puppies. The baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth. This causes some amount of discomfort and pain in dogs. This is also the reason why your little ones chew on every object they can lay their eyes on. Chewing helps them ease the pain. To help them out, we, as pet parents, should provide positive outlets for them to practice their chewing on such as dental chews or toys. This will be beneficial for both the pet parent as well as the puppy.
How You Can Help
1- Probiotic supplements
The right probiotic supplements can help create a healthy bacterial environment in your little one’s mouth. Not only will they help you maintain their gut health, the good bacteria will also create a better healthier environment in your dog’s oral cavity.
2- Aloe vera for pain
Aloe vera is a highly medicinal plant. It can be used for a lot of purposes as a soothing agent. Natural and organic aloe vera gel can be used to soothe toothache in dogs. Ensure that this gel is edible in nature and does not have any additives.
3- Regular brushing
Though experts would advice daily brushing, this might not be a very feasible idea for the dog as well as for you. Try to brush your fur balls teeth at least thrice a week. Though they might fidget a bit in the beginning, it will soon become a habit.
4- Coconut oil for Gums
Coconut oil is also called the miracle oil. This oil is also great for oral health as it is antibacterial in nature, it is great for gum health in dogs. You can apply it on their gums using your or even their brush.
5- Dental Chews and toys
Dental treats and toys are a great tool for oral health maintenance. You need to make sure that you buy the right dog chews or toys based on the age, breed, size, and health of your dog.
Dental Chews, Treats, and Toys
As mentioned in the section about teething, giving dogs a good outlet for chewing can be beneficial for both the pet parent as well as the dog. Dental treats and toys are a great option for this. Most dental chews also come with other nutritional benefits along with dental benefits, thus acting as supplements as well. Chew treats and toys also help stimulate dogs mentally. It keeps their mind occupied along with their teeth. Chewing is a natural process in dogs through which they explore the world around them, providing them the right outlet is imperative. Choosing the right dental chew is also a very important part of the process, the chew has to be based on the age, breed, size and health concerns of the dog. A little research is required so as to provide the best dental chews for your dog.