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Dental Care for Canines
Even just a few short years ago worrying about your dog's dental health or discussing it with your vet was pretty much unheard of. Now, with advancements in research talking about your pet's dental hygiene with your vet has become a normal part of the routine office visit. Everyone has a better understanding of the relationship between a dog's dental and general health. Awareness of doggy dental hygiene has really come to the forefront as part of the normal preventative care for your dog.
Diet as well as practicing good dental hygiene for your dog plays a key role in keeping your dog healthy. Dogs that are given a good quality dry food and have properly sized raw knuckle or joint bones to gnaw on are better able to keep the tartar build up on their teeth down to a minimum. The kibble and bones combined act similar to a toothbrush in the way teeth are actually scraped clean. Make sure to throw out the bones and replace with fresh ones at the first signs of splintering or cracking.
The majority of dogs in the toy and small breeds groups as well as any dog below the average size and weight for their breed are more likely to have dental troubles and need more care in that area. Also poor growth and bone development is a key means to predict possible future dental problems. Clean and tartar free teeth beginning early in life will make sure your dog has natural teeth as long as possible and keep vet bill down to a minimum as well.
Several things on the market can be used to clean your dog's teeth. A chew toy that has bristles imbedded especially on the ends is a good example. Just put some doggy toothpaste on the bristles and let the dog chew on it for several minutes each day. The chewing action against the bristles act as a toothbrush cleaning the teeth in much the same way it does for humans. It cannot reach all teeth or get the insides at all, but it works very well between full brushings.
A small device called a finger sleeve is a rubberized, texturized cover that fits over your index finger. Rubbing this against the dog's teeth and along the gum line removes plaque and helps prevent tartar buildup. There is specialized doggy toothpaste in flavors dogs enjoy which makes the brushing process pleasant.
Dogs really tend to enjoy the brushing and it usually becomes part of the regular grooming routine, added either at the beginning or end. Special doggy toothbrushes are also readily available at most vets, online or in the local pet stores. A soft baby toothbrush will do quite well in a pinch, brush carefully in the back parts of the mouth, being careful you don’t bump or jab the sensitive tissues in that area of the mouth.
Stay away from Human dental products; they taste very bad to dogs and your pet will end up hating the process. Rewarding you dog with tasty dental friendly treats will help keep teeth clean and lessen doggy breath between brushings.
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