GRRMF Banner  
 
Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida, Inc
PO Box 1449, Goldenrod, FL 32733-1449
Voice Message Info Line: (407) 332-2840
Email: info@grrmf.org
GRRMF Logo  
  Home
gold paw
gold paw
gold paw
gold paw
gold paw
gold paw
gold paw
gold paw
gold paw
gold paw
     Take Care of Those Canines Ė Teeth, That Is!     

 

Brushing your teeth at least once a day is part of your daily routine, right? You know that if you donít take care of your teeth and gums, youíll develop dental disease as a result of tartar buildup and bacteria.

Well, the same is true for your dog. While you canít teach your dog to brush his own teeth, there are things you can do to ensure a healthy mouth for your best friend. The real danger of tartar buildup, also known as calculus, is that it can lead to gum disease. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 85 percent of all dogs over age 4 have some form of gum disease.

This is due to the fact that the tartar adheres to the dogís tooth and ends up under the gum. If the tartar isnít removed, it eventually pushes the gums away from the roots of the teeth, forming pockets where bacteria can take hold. This can cause an infection, which can lead to gum disease.

But gum disease isnít the only dental danger for your pooch. Lack of proper dental care can also cause your dog to develop conditions such as gingivitis, tonsillitis and pharyngitis. These are serious illnesses that can cause bad breath, tooth loss, and, worst of all, bacterial infections, which can spread to vital organs, such as the lungs, heart, kidneys and liver.

To know if your dog is suffering from poor dental care, look for symptoms like mouth odor or bleeding and swollen gums. He may also experience pain when he eats.

What can you do?
Prevention is the best medicine. When you take your dog to the veterinarian for his annual check-up, make sure it includes a thorough dental exam. If tartar buildup is severe or there are problems, your vet may recommend a cleaning, which usually involves general anesthesia.

You can avoid costly veterinarian bills through good oral hygiene for your dog:

  • Brushing: You can use a piece of gauze wrapped around your index finger or a canine toothbrush from a pet supply store. Be sure to use toothpaste made especially for dogs (also available at pet supply stores), since dogs swallow after brushing instead of rinsing.
  • Food: Include dry kibble in your dogís diet, and make sure it is a high-quality food. Coarse food can help scrape away tartar as your dog eats. Check out our section on nutrition.
  • Chews: Provide your dog with the right kind of chew toys will help clean his teeth as he plays. While GRRMF does not recommend rawhide, there are many kinds of chews designed to help remove tartar as your dog gnaws on them.As always, supervise your pet whenever he chews.