Keeping Your Doggie's Dental Health in Tip Top Condition

4 out of 5 dogs have dental problems which is generally caused by the build up of plaque, which can harden and turn into tartar. Poor oral health and hygiene can cause bad breath, dental diseases, such as periodontal disease, where the ligaments holding the teeth loosen, which can result in tooth loss, and bacteria spreading and entering your dog's bloodstream, which can be carried to their heart, kidneys, and liver, and cause serious illness.

So, what can we do about taking care of our dog's oral health and hygiene, to prevent them having issues? The good news is, there is a lot we can do by being proactive! Firstly, it's important to ensure our pets have ample access to clean, fresh drinking water, which should be changed daily, or more frequently if it becomes soiled. We provide our dogs with water fountains or bowls in every single room, as by encouraging them to drink, it can help to flush food debris for their mouth, which can otherwise cause bacteria.

We recommend having your pet checked by your Vet at least twice a year, so they can monitor any changes, including dental problems. In some cases, your Vet may suggest the best course of action would be to carry out a dental, especially if they've got a severe buildup of tartar, or they require extractions due to showing signs of dental disease. This will be done under a general anaesthetic (the procedure would be too invasive for the dog to tolerate without), and usually at a cost of a few hundred pounds minimum, depending on how many extractions are required, but this procedure may be unavoidable, and once complete, you can then work on maintaining the level of cleanness achieved, to prevent it being needed again.

It's important you feed your dog an appropriate, balanced diet for their breed, age, health, and activity level. There are arguments as to whether feeding dried kibble, wet food, or raw food, is best to maintain dental health, but relying on diet alone is rarely adequate for this, so it's not something we've concerned ourselves about. You could consult your Vet, or a doggy nutritionist, but do be aware that they may be on commission from certain brands!

There are numerous varieties of dental chews on the market, which may help to scrape off some of the plaque, as well as having other benefits to your dog's wellbeing, such as releasing of endorphins. Just be aware that some may contain unhealthy ingredients, so do take a look at the back of the packet before purchasing! Also be mindful that the plastic based chew toys may not be good for your dog's digestion, things like whole antlers could damage your dog's teeth, and raw hide chews have been known to cause digestive issues and potentially even blockages, so pick something appropriate for your dog, monitor them carefully, and if your dog is overweight, or on limited exercise, consider adjusting the amount of food you feed them, to accommodate the extra calories in any dental chews you add into their diet.

Enzymatic tooth gel can help with removal of plaque. We stock Orozyme® Dental Care Gel, which helps maintain the natural balance of microorganisms in the mouth, and the enzyme destroys plaque, and prevents further plaque formation. This can be applied daily, direct in the dog's mouth, using the handy applicator, and requires no brushing.