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Oral Disease in Dogs

Dog Showing TeethEighty percent of all dogs suffer from periodontal disease by the age of three.* If left untreated, it can lead to serious health issues such as heart, kidney, and lung disease. Preventive dental care can reduce the risk of your pet developing periodontal disease, helping to ensure a longer, healthier life.

Common indications of tooth decay and oral disease are bad breath, discolored teeth, red and inflamed gums, and/or a change in eating or chewing habits. Schedule regular dental checkups with your veterinarian, and discuss the best way to keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean and healthy.

At home, treat your dog to edible chews and chew toys with proven benefits in plaque and tartar removal, such as Nutri Dent® Edible Dental Chews and our new line of dental products, Advanced Oral Care. Your pooch’s pearly whites should also be brushed regularly with toothpaste formulated specifically for dogs. (Human toothpaste will cause stomach upset.) You can also supplement with plaque-inhibiting foams, mouthwashes, and sprays, which can reduce the incidence of plaque and tartar buildup.

Four Steps to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Healthy

1.    Examine your dog’s teeth and look for signs of tooth decay and oral disease.
2.    Brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week, but an everyday routine is the best option.
-Top Tips from Top Trainers: Natalia Rozas de O’Laughlin, CDPT, Houston Pet Help, Houston, TX
3.    Visit your veterinarian annually for a dental exam. Discuss the best way to keep your pet’s teeth and gums clean and healthy, and then make sure to schedule your next dental checkup.
4.    Treat your dog to specifically formulated pet dental or chew products with proven benefits in plaque and tartar removal, such as Nutri Dent®, Dura Chew®, or Flexi Chew®.

Simple Steps for Teaching Your Dog to Accept Dental Care

The first step is to teach your dog to accept having his mouth handled, which normally occurs during puppyhood but can be taught to an adult dog as well. Always begin this process slowly and gradually, and be sure to make it a positive experience. If your dog becomes upset, stop and return to the training another time. Again, keep all sessions short and positive—make them fun!

•    When your dog is relaxed, let him sniff your fingers. You may want to dip them in something tasty, like beef bouillon.
•    Next, gently rub your index finger along his front teeth and gum line. Once he accepts this, move to the back teeth and gums.
•    Talk in soothing tones and offer praise throughout this handling process.
•    At the end of each handling session, offer your dog a tasty treat and thank him for being such a good dog.

After a week or two, wrap a clean washcloth or piece of gauze dampened with warm water around your finger. Slowly massage the outside of the upper teeth. After a few days, substitute doggy toothpaste for the water.

If your dog accepts this, substitute the cloth with a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste. Before using the toothbrush and toothpaste, give him an opportunity to get used to these new tools, then attempt to brush.

How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth

•    Place a small amount of toothpaste on your finger and let your dog sniff it or lick it off.
•    Next, try spreading some toothpaste on a doggy toothbrush and let your dog lick it off.
•    Reapply some toothpaste on the toothbrush and gently lift your his lip. Apply the toothbrush to the teeth at a 45-degree angle, and try brushing a few teeth in a circular motion.
•    Once your dog gets used to this, see if he will allow you to brush a few more teeth. If not, try again another day using the same procedure. Eventually, as your dog becomes comfortable with this routine, you will want to brush all of his teeth thoroughly, including those in the back, because these are most susceptible to periodontal disease.

As in all training, linking this important part of your dog’s grooming routine to a positive experience will increase the likelihood that he will learn to look forward to it as an opportunity for positive attention and a reward from you. Just a few minutes of time spent on this vital part of your dog’s care will not only increase the bond between the two of you, but it will also play a vital role in keeping your dog healthy.
*(Source: American Veterinary Dental Society)

Dog Oral Health Solutions from Nylabone:

Advanced Oral Care Dental Chew Dura Chew Flexi  Chew Nutri Dent
  For Powerful Chewers & Moderate Chewers For Powerful Chewers For Moderate Chewers  

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