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Brush Your Dogs Teeth!

Just as your own teeth and gums need regular care so that you do not get gum disease or tooth decay, your pet’s teeth need to be tended to as well.  There are a number of steps which you can take to maintain the health of your pet’s mouth.  Some basic home preventative care can go a long way toward keeping gum and teeth problems away.  This article will focus on dental care for dogs.

You should regularly check out your pet’s breath (probably not too challenging, particularly with canines, considering their propensity toward shoving their snouts in your face!).  If your pet’s breath starts to smell particularly offensive or unusual, there may be a problem, especially if other symptoms are present such as a loss of appetite, excessive thirst or urination, or vomiting.  Also look at your pet’s gums.  If they are white or red, this could indicate a problem, as can swelling.  Other warning signs of gum disease to watch out for can include drooling (again, more than usual), tumors, cysts, and loose teeth.

You should brush your dog’s teeth, just as you brush your own.  You can purchase toothbrushes which are specifically made for your pet.  Otherwise you may try wrapping a piece of gauze around your finger.  Just as there are toothbrushes for pets, there are also toothpaste formulas for different types of pets.  If you don’t use this, you can try baking soda.  Baking soda needs to be combined with water to form a paste to be used safely and effectively (this mixture can also be used for your own teeth).  Do not use human toothpaste formulas on pets since it can make them ill.  Mouthwash is also available for pets, and once again, you’ll need to look for something which has specifically been created for your pet.

Another step you can take to protect the dental health of a dog is to provide your dog with a chew toy.  If you have a dog, you’ve certainly already noticed they have an obsession with chewing on things.  The chewing serves an actual purpose in that it massages the gums of the dog and also helps to remove tartar build up from the teeth—which prevents tooth decay, cavities and other problems.  Chew toys also keep dogs happy and can be helpful in calming down a stressed out pet.

You’ll want to learn to recognize halitosis, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and other illnesses which can afflict your pet’s mouth so that you can look out for them as you brush your pet’s teeth.  If you do spot something unusual, you should take your pet to the vet.  Also keep in mind that if your pet isn’t used to tooth care, it’s going to take a gradual training process to get to the point where you can actually clean the teeth.  So have some patience and research the best supplies for your pet.  It will be well worth it when you can protect your pet from gum and tooth problems!


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