If your dog has a regular tooth care regime, then you are on
track to scoring an A+ when it comes to your pet’s dental
health. Excellent oral health can lead to longer lives in dogs
and will save them from preventable pain and discomfort. When
you examine your dog’s mouth, look for these signs that
indicate strong teeth and gums.
Dog teeth are typically white during puppyhood, and darken as
dogs get older. Puppies start out with 28 baby teeth that fall
out around six months, and are replaced with a total of 42
adult teeth. Healthy teeth are not chipped or cracked, and do
not show signs of deterioration. Brown or yellow film by your
dog’s gum line or visible deterioration are signs of poor
dental health, and should be addressed before the buildup
Healthy dog gums should be firm, and can range in color from
pink to black. Some dog gums are spotted, which is also normal.
Healthy gums are never swollen or
discolored. Puffy red or white sections on the gums are
signs of periodontal disease.
Healthy Breath Odor
Dog breath isn’t known for being
the freshest thing you’ll ever smell. All dogs have some amount
of odor to their breath, so it’s normal to smell your pet’s
breath when it yawns or breathes on you. Healthy dogs, however,
won’t clear out a room with their stinky breath. If your pet’s
breath changes or worsens, then it could be a sign of dental
Canine tongues vary in color from pink to blue-black to
speckled. You will not find cysts or lumps on or under healthy
dog tongues. If your dog’s tongue fades, changes color, or has
ulcerations, it could be a sign of a larger problem such as
lack of oxygen that is not likely due to dental health.
Healthy Dental Health Behaviors
Dogs with healthy teeth and gums will take part in normal
activities that involve chewing without hesitation or
sensitivity. Mealtime and eating will not be an issue for them,
and they’ll seek out opportunities to chew on snacks and toys
like Dura Chew for dogs and
regularly. Dogs who struggle with eating, chew on one side of
the mouth, show difficulty picking up food, or have noticeable
change in chewing and eating behaviors may have oral health
5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Dog's Dental Health
Unless your dog has a seriously bad case of doggie breath, their dental health needs
may fly under your radar. However, poor oral hygiene can lead
to both tooth loss and periodontal disease in dogs, which in
turn may also affect their livers, hearts, and kidneys if the
bacteria spreads through the bloodstream.
Here are five simple ways you can help keep their chompers
healthy and strong.
1. Start a dental routine
Just like humans, dogs benefit greatly from brushing their teeth. All dogs develop
tartar and plaque, which will lead to more serious tooth issues
if left alone. Daily tooth brushing is safe and recommended for
dogs, but if a daily routine is not feasible, brushing your
dog’s teeth at least once per week will yield satisfactory
results. Choose a dog toothbrush that is comfortable and safe
for your pet, and make sure to use toothpaste and rinses
specifically formulated for dogs. When brushing your dog’s
teeth, check for debris caught in the gums and signs of tooth
2. Set up regular dental exams
Cleaning your dog’s teeth will help control plaque and tartar,
but regular brushing won’t get everything. Veterinarians
recommend that dogs receive an oral exam and professional
cleaning once per year. Dental cleanings by vets provide a
deeper cleaning of bacteria that builds up below the gum line.
In order to do a thorough cleaning, vets must anesthetize the
dog during the procedure. Some pet owners are squeamish when
they hear that anesthesia will be administered, though it is a
regular procedure. Talk to your vet about why dental cleanings
are important for you dog and about the process.
3. Get your dog chewing
Chewing is a natural behavior in dogs - one that can also
benefit their oral hygiene. Chew toys and ropes, bones,
rawhide, and chews provide friction along the gumline and act
as natural flossers. Provide your dog with chew toys
Bone that are an appropriate size and shape, and let
them start chomping their way to healthier teeth. Be sure to
replace chew materials when they are worn, and provide durable
toys and bones to aggressive chewers. If your dog has sensitive
teeth, try latex toys and other softer chewing materials.
4. Monitor your dog’s diet
Diet can factor into overall dental health in a variety of
ways. Make sure to feed your pets nutritionally balanced dog
food. If tooth health is an issue, try using specially
formulated dry foods that don’t crumble as easily to wear away
plaque and tartar with chewing. Other dog foods such
as Hill's Prescription Diet
Dental Care or Royal
Canin Veterinary Dental Dog Food inhibit bacteria
growth and the formation of plaque. Talk to your vet before
making a major change to your dog’s diet, and make sure to
choose dental health food that has the Veterinary Oral Health
Care (VOHC) seal. Avoid feeding your pooch table food,
especially scraps that are high in carbs and sugars. And since
dogs tend to eat pretty much anything, make sure your pets do
not have access to trash, yard debris, or anything else they
shouldn’t be munching on.
5. Try dental dog treats
Like chew toys, treats designed to promote oral health through
the mechanical action of chewing help reduce plaque and tartar.
Look for treats that have the VOHC seal as they have been
tested and proven to reduce plaque and tartar. Dental dog
treats come in a variety of sizes, shapes, textures, and
flavors, and you can find all-natural options that do not have
added colors or flavors. Though these treats are good for dogs’
teeth, they should still be considered snack foods and not be
eaten in abundance.
Follow these five tips, and your dog will be on their way to
having a very healthy mouth. Your pet will be thanking you each
time they flash you that canine smile!
This information is for informational purposes only and
is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or
diagnosis or treatment by,your veterinarian. Always seek the
advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional
with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to
what you may have read on our website.