If you have a dog, you likely take the time to make sure your pet is well trained and has enough food and toys. But be sure you don’t neglect your dog’s oral hygiene. By the time they are 3 years old, 80 percent of dogs develop a dental disease.
You can begin practicing good canine oral hygiene habits now to help increase your chances that your dog won’t be among that percentage—and so that you will not be among the two out of three dog owners who don’t provide the proper dental care their dog requires.
To help get you started, here are some basics that you should know about your dog’s teeth and overall oral health. After reading, if you have questions or would like to make an appointment with a dog vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, the knowledgeable experts at Newkirk Family Veterinarians are here to provide top-quality care for you and your dog.
Answering common questions
What should I know about “doggy breath”? While this is not always the case, “doggy breath” can, at times, be the initial symptom of a larger dental problem. However, mitigating “doggy breath” is straightforward. Brushing your dog’s teeth for 30-60 seconds will give your pet fresher breath, as well as brighter teeth.
Will I be able to spot dental disease in my dog’s mouth? It’s quite possible that any signs of dental disease in your dog are undetectable by the typical pet owner. Two-thirds of a dog’s tooth lies below the gum line, making it difficult for the untrained eye to spot the presence of dental disease.
How many teeth do dogs have? As puppies, our canine friends have 28 teeth. By the time they become adult dogs, they have 42 teeth.
What can lead to tartar and plaque build up in my dog’s mouth? Tartar and plaque can develop as a result of one or more of the following factors:
- Halitosis (bad breath);
- Salivary cysts;
- Mouth tumors;
- Gum disease;
- Periodontal disease.
Is there anything I can do for my dog to help reduce plaque? Yes. Chewing dry kibble and natural dog chews can lessen buildup in your dog’s mouth. Also, the Veterinary Oral Health Council says some types of canine dental treats and diets can reduce plaque by nearly 70 percent.
In addition to helping to reduce plaque, chewing dry food and dog chews helps your dog feel good. That’s because chewing is both a mental and physical activity and releases endorphins, just as exercise or being physically active does for humans.
Are there any ingredients in dog chews that I should avoid? Yes. Commercial dog chews with the following ingredients may potentially be dangerous for your dog, so avoid purchasing chews that contain any of these items:
- Ferrous sulfate;
- Iron oxide;
- Dl-alpha Tocopherol;
- Potassium sorbate.
Don’t wait until something goes wrong with your dog’s teeth to start paying attention to your pet’s oral hygiene. Start on the path to good canine oral health today by making an appointment with a dog vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. The team at Newkirk Family Veterinarians have provided quality veterinary care for more than 34 years and are dedicated to serving yours and your pet’s needs. Contact us at 609-645-2120!