Healthy teeth are extremely important. And for dogs, that may be even more important than for humans. For dogs, their teeth are not only for eating, but also for grooming, playing, exploring and defending themselves. In this blog we look at preventing dental problems and taking care of the teeth.
Dental problems in dogs
There are many different problems that are common in dogs:
– Cracks in the tooth
– Wrong position of the teeth (over or under bite)
– Problems with switching
Food is a basic necessity of life for all animals. But what if your dog has pain in his teeth due to a crack or inflammation in the jaw? Then it is possible that your dog will eat poorly.
Most dogs like to play. Playing a tug of war with sore teeth? Little chance that your dog really feels like it. To fetch? It’s a tricky exercise in itself for many dogs, but with sensitive teeth it becomes even more difficult. Do you have a dog that eats poorly or plays less convincingly? Then get his teeth checked!back to menu ↑
Brushing your teeth is not nonsense. If your dog is prone to dental plaque, brush his teeth regularly. Do you feed a lot of dry food? To polish! Brushing about once a week is usually enough as basic care.
Does your dog already have tartar? First have it removed from a vet or groomer and then start brushing. There are different toothbrushes for dogs. I like a finger brush myself the best. Always use dog toothpaste! Human toothpaste is really dangerous for dogs.
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Getting your dog used to brushing teeth
If your dog won’t cooperate with brushing… well, it’s certainly no fun grooming your reluctant dog’s teeth. So get your dog used to it from puppy that you can look at and take care of his teeth.
To start, you can smear some liver pate or cheese spread on your finger without a brush and run it along his teeth and gums. Then you put a little on the brush and run it along his teeth. It’s mostly about the sides. Really practice in sessions of a few seconds in the beginning, reward and then another session later.back to menu ↑
What doesn’t come up doesn’t have to come off
You can prevent plaque buildup (which in turn forms tartar) by not giving your dog any grain and/or flour products. So no bones baked from dough, no bread and no chunks. Of course no pastries, dental sticks and other sugar bombs. It’s not that if you don’t give this, your dog can never get plaque. And it’s not like it can be completely prevented either. We sometimes eat a Snickers!
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Bones and bones
You can of course also give bones and bones that help to clean the teeth. For very small dogs, rumen swabs and furry rabbit ears can be excellent teeth cleaning chews because of their structure.
A large dog has such a bone in ten seconds, so that is too short-lived. For larger dogs it is better to give rumen plates or cattle ears with fur. Fresh bones such as beef crunch (sternum) are also allowed, provided your dog is used to eating meat. Can’t your dog handle bones and bones? Then try chew toys like Nylabone, or chews like coffee tree root or olive tree wood!back to menu ↑
What does your dog eat?
Nutrition therefore has a lot of influence on your dog’s teeth. Natural food with natural snacks are certainly preferred. Sometimes this is not possible, for example due to severe intestinal problems. Is this the case with your dog? Then consult with a nutritionist!
Do you feed meat, but mostly ground? Then give your dog real rumen slaps. Those are fantastic toothbrushes! One drawback… it smells like tripe. Do you have a garden? Ideal to give it there!
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Heredity also plays a major role in dental problems. Some dogs have really weak teeth, which they inherit from their ancestors. Other dogs have extremely strong teeth. We had 2 extremes, one dog had some broken teeth, while she never did anything weird or crazy with it. And a dog that always dragged paving stones (yes, with her teeth…) and never even had a worn tip.
Weak teeth are common in small companion dogs, while terriers are often blessed with strong teeth. Hundreds of years of selection was made for this from the original purpose, while for a companion dog a strong teeth was less important than a soft coat and a smaller size.back to menu ↑
Young dogs change their terribly sharp baby teeth to adult teeth between 4 and 6 months of age. During this period it is very important to check your teeth regularly. Puppies are often extremely biting during this period and can also really suffer from the switch. This can vary from diarrhea to a very painful, swollen mouth.
The need to chew increases enormously, but chewing also hurts again. Try toys and chews made of different materials. If your dog has problems eating during the switch, temporarily give a softer food.
TIP: Give your young dog a filled Kong from the freezer when changing. This relieves gum pain.
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A dentist for dogs
Does your dog have a problem with his teeth? Then have this treated by a dentist for dogs! Some veterinary clinics also have a dental service. Are you unsure about your dog’s teeth? Have a vet look at it as soon as possible. Waiting only makes it worse!
You can have a simple dental cleaning done by most vets, but if it concerns a wrong position of the teeth, it is better to be referred to a specialist.back to menu ↑
My dog stinks from his mouth
Sometimes your dog really stinks from his mouth… this is not fun, because the stench makes you more distance from your dog. You don’t want him to lick your face or hands (anymore), so you block part of his behavior that is meant to be submissive and friendly.
Your dog can become quite insecure about this, because you cannot explain to him that it has to do with the smell from his mouth. So if you don’t think your dog’s breath is really fresh, have it checked by your vet. It can also be something other than the teeth … stomach and intestinal problems also give a less fresh breath.
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All tips at a glance
- Give your dog as few products as possible that cause plaque
- Weekly brushing with dog toothpaste is a great idea
- Fresh scribbles are fantastic toothbrushes
- Your dog may have healthy chewing material available at all times
- A natural chew every day is possible and allowed, provided your dog doesn’t get fat
- Does your dog eat less well, do you see a broken tooth, or does he like to play less? Check with the vet!
- Check your teeth every week while changing
- Teach your dog from scratch that teething is fun!
- In case of bad breath, check with the vet
- Try ProDen Plaque Off after cleaning your teeth or to prevent plaque
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We wrote this blog to share as much knowledge as possible with dog owners. We want to make sure that as many dogs as possible get the best possible bond with their owners. Our mission is to increase dog welfare by sharing knowledge and bringing dog owners into contact with each other.