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Dental care for dogs is a critical part of pet ownership: your dog’s quality and longevity of life is directly related to the level of dental care it receives.
This is because periodontal disease associated with the buildup of bacteria and plaque can cause severe health issues by delivering infected blood directly to vital organs. However, this can easily be prevented with some simple steps you can take at home and at the veterinarian’s office.
Most veterinarians agree that dogs that receive regular dental care live longer and healthier lives than those that receive little or no canine dental care. This is because bacteria build up in the mouth of a dog on a daily basis, regardless of what type of food they eat. A great deal of this is removed when chewing, but some of it remains, dies off and generates hard deposits of plaque.
Once plaque begins to develop it creates a surface area that allows bacteria to proliferate, thereby exacerbating the problem. Eventually this plaque and bacteria buildup will infect under the gum line- injecting bacteria directly into the blood stream and subsequently to the vital organs. Left untreated this can lead to severe and debilitating heart, kidney and liver problems, eventually resulting in premature death from related complications.
Dental care in dogs begins at home. This includes brushing your pet’s teeth as often as possible with toothpaste for dogs. Additionally, there are toys, treats and foods that can help to prevent and eliminate plaque buildup. But in order to take care of your dog’s teeth properly an owner needs to be observant. Watch how your dog chews and look out for bad breath. Problems with chewing or eating accompanied by a foul odor from the mouth means that your dog needs veterinary dental attention.
Ideally, dogs should receive regular dental care at least once a year. This is a critical need as a dog gets older. Annual or even biannual checkups and oral exams are necessary to diagnose and treat plaque buildup, periodontal disease, injuries and tumors. Puppies should also receive a thorough early exam to pinpoint any abnormalities in the mouth that can lead to issues later on.
The consequences of poor K9 dental care are far too great to ignore if you care about your dog. To keep your dog in optimal condition and extend the time that you will get to spend with him, a conscientious program of at-home exams, teeth brushing and special foods, treats and toys combined with regular veterinary dental care will add years to your dog’s life, and life to his years.
In Summary – Give your dog a bone.
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