When it comes to our dog’s dental health, we’re not always diligent. But with help from Loving Pets and The Missing Link, we can keep our pooch’s teeth pearly white.
The tooth of the matter is that dog dental health is just as big a deal to their teeth as it is to yours (you only floss the teeth you want to keep, right?). It’s important we pay attention to it not only for their pearly white smiles but their general health and well-being too. Luckily, there are several easy ways we can do this for our furry friends, thanks to Loving Pets and The Missing Link.
Doggie Dental Disease?
Believe it or not, vets estimate that by the time dogs are three years old, over 80 percent of them have some type of dental, or periodontal, disease. The severity of the disease varies from dog to dog, but the end results if left untreated could mean some serious consequences for your pup.
Just like in humans, dog periodontal disease affects their teeth, gums and the underlying supports of their teeth. And, just like in humans, dental disease in dogs starts at a very basic level with plaque buildup. The plaque that builds up from food and other things they eat (yes, the deer poop and your prized tulips alike) contains bacteria that are not always good for them.
If you’re not regularly brushing your dog’s teeth, or giving them dental treats to help keep the plaque to a minimum, the plaque builds up and hardens. This hardened plaque turns into tartar and is easily seen on their gumlines. Just lift your dog’s lip from their gum and look especially at the tops of their teeth. This is what your regular tooth brushing can help prevent.
But it’s not just the look of tartar that’s a problem for your pet’s teeth. Tartar that goes below the gumline is the more serious problem because it’s what causes inflammation of your dog’s gums. It also can damage the supporting structures of their teeth, and even cause infection of the gums and teeth. Think about what you feel like if you get a toothache and then imagine your poor pup feeling the same, but having no clue why their mouth hurts them so much.
When your dog’s teeth get to this level, they may break or lose teeth, and they may have some killer breath. They may also have bleeding in their gums and drooling, and it could hurt them so much that they may not even eat or drink. Dental health and hygiene are critical to overall health as well, and when it gets to this point, you’ll need to contact your vet for cleaning and treatment. Trust us when we say this can be costly.
But it also can be prevented!
Why You Want To Take Care Of Your Dog’s Teeth
It’s a given you want to freshen their breath (and take that icky feeling on their teeth away from them), and you want their smiles to be as gorgeous as they were meant to be.
But did you know that not taking care of your dog’s teeth can lead to more damage to your pet than just a mouthful of bleeding gums?
It’s true. The bacteria in the plaque that forms and hardens on your dog’s teeth and gums can get into their bloodstream and make them extremely sick. This spread of bacteria is called bacteremia, and it can damage their liver, kidney and their heart. When you take care of your dog’s dental health, you’re really taking care of their full-body health and well-being.
Not to mention, you’re protecting them from tooth loss, painful oral infections and worsening situations in their mouth that can’t easily be treated because of the progression.
How Can I Take Care Of My Dog’s Teeth?
The honest facts are that most people just aren’t going to be big brushers of their dog’s teeth. In fact, research suggests that fewer than seven percent of pet owners actually brush their dog’s teeth.
And we get it. It’s not easy to convince our dogs to open wide and say, “Ahhhhh” so we can shove a toothbrush (or a rubber tip on our fingers) in their mouths and go to town. Not to mention, if you’re a human, odds are finding the time to carve out daily toothbrushing can be tough. No judging, we promise.
But, thankfully, there are additional ways that veterinarians suggest keeping your pup’s teeth clean. Yes, tooth brushing is a great way to maintain their good oral health, but so is offering them quality food and toys that are designed to clean their teeth and maybe even freshen their breath in the process.
Fortunately, there are also some amazing dental treats we can offer them that no only help take care of their teeth, but their hearts too!
We love the patent-pending Ora-Bone for doggy dental health! Not only does the Ora-Bone help freshen your dog’s breath with three freshening ingredients (mint, chlorophyll and parsley), but your dog will feel like the most special pup in the world with this ‘bone.’ The unique design of the Ora-Bone means that every surface of the bone acts as a dental feature (though your dog just knows it’s a ‘treat,’). The center bulb of the Ora-Bone wraps is what cleans the roof of the mouth, the tongue and behind the front teeth.
It also has stepped, tapered ribs that wrap around both sides of the Ora-Bone that act as teeth-fitting channels for more effective cleaning.
When they’re in your dog’s mouth, the channels promote even more movement around their whole mouth, which means they’re getting to the plaque in more areas. And the nibs wrap around its heart-shaped opening (awwww!) and give your dog’s gums a nice gum massage and tongue scrape for kissable breath.
The best part is that your dog doesn’t even know he’s cleaning his teeth; he just thinks you’re spoiling him with love. And you are!
Another one of our favorite ways to keep our dogs’ teeth clean and gums healthy are The Missing Link’s SmartMouth Dental Chews. The SmartMouth dental chew is also a multi-tasking dental chew you offer daily for optimal health. It not only helps clean their teeth and freshen their breath but helps support joint health and more.
When you give your dog a SmartMouth dental chew daily, you’re giving them all the essential vitamins they need for overall health. The SmartMouth has ridges that help pull out that plaque and tartar on their gums and teeth, and it also includes Stay-C. Stay-C is a patented form of Vitamin C that’s included to support your dog’s health in a natural way. Research suggests that Stay-C offered statistically significant improvement in the oral health of dogs and cats, and it’s believed that Stay-C is a better source of vitamin C for dogs and cats when compared to ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate.
The SmartMouth chew also offers a daily balance of Omega 3 & 6, which promotes nice and healthy skins and coats. Glucosamine is included to support joints and hip mobility and other whole food ingredients make it more easily digestible and supportive of the dog’s immune system. You can think of giving your dog a SmartMouth daily chew as not just helping their oral health, but their whole body health too.
Dental disease is common in dogs, but it doesn’t have to be. Even if you’re not the most diligent doggie tooth brusher, you can help ensure their oral health with good foods, dental toys and incredible dental doggy treats.
So what are you waiting for? Get those doggies to chompin’
Lori Ennis is a wife, mama and friend to all animals. A self-confessed “Hot Mess,” she lives wherever the Marine Corps takes her husband. Currently, that’s Maryland with her very spoiled Labrador Retriever-mix rescue pups and a ton of saltwater fish just tanking around. Lori’s family has fostered dogs for years, mostly Golden Retrievers, and knows no home is complete without an animal buddy (or seven)!
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