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Oral Health for Dogs

Nov 1, 2021

Your dog’s mouth is a complicated and beautiful thing. (Although it may occasionally be a little smelly.) Did you know that dogs’ mouths are more alkaline than human mouths? This means your dog makes more plaque than you do. 

There are a variety of ways to promote good dental health for your dog. Their mouths work similarly to ours, even though they are different. While our mouths and dogs’ mouths are very similar, they do have some differences. One way that dogs’ mouths are different from ours is that their mouths are more alkaline, which promotes a greater production of plaque. Another main reason is that, unlike most people, dogs aren’t brushing their teeth once or twice a day. And their human parents are likely not brushing their teeth regularly either. 

Plaque is made up of saliva, bits of food, leftover mouth cells, mouth bacteria, and their by-products. If it’s not removed by brushing, it builds up, and the bacteria multiply. And, as the bacteria multiply, so do oral health issues. To fend off the multiplying bacteria, protective cells in your dog’s mouth gather to fight off the bacteria. Unfortunately, if this natural process proceeds unchecked, it can cause dental issues. Regular dental check ups and preventative oral care is a much more effective way to deal with plaque build up. In this article we’ll discuss dental issues in dogs, and how to prevent them. 

How Can I Tell if My Dog Has Dental Issues?

Your dog’s mouth is a complicated and beautiful thing. (Although it may occasionally be a little smelly.) Did you know that dogs’ mouths are more alkaline than human mouths? This means your dog makes more plaque than you do. 

There are a variety of ways to promote good dental health for your dog. Their mouths work similarly to ours, even though they are different. While our mouths and dogs’ mouths are very similar, they do have some differences. One way that dogs’ mouths are different from ours is that their mouths are more alkaline, which promotes a greater production of plaque. Another main reason is that, unlike most people, dogs aren’t brushing their teeth once or twice a day. And their human parents are likely not brushing their teeth regularly either. 

Plaque is made up of saliva, bits of food, leftover mouth cells, mouth bacteria, and their by-products. If it’s not removed by brushing, it builds up, and the bacteria multiply. And, as the bacteria multiply, so do oral health issues. To fend off the multiplying bacteria, protective cells in your dog’s mouth gather to fight off the bacteria. Unfortunately, if this natural process proceeds unchecked, it can cause dental issues. Regular dental check ups and preventative oral care is a much more effective way to deal with plaque build up. In this article we’ll discuss dental issues in dogs, and how to prevent them. 

One way that humans and dogs are different is that dogs don’t show pain the way you do. Even if your dog is in lots of pain, they may not show it because they’ve evolved to hide pain as part of predator survival mechanisms. It’s instinctual on your dog’s part. No matter how bad his dental issues are, he’ll likely be eating normally and acting like his usual happy self. It’s very common, according to vets, for a dog to show no outward signs of dental issues. This is why regular check ups and preventative care are just as important for your dog as they are for you. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways, many of them painless, that will allow you to help keep your dog’s mouth healthy. 

How to Take Care of Your Dogs Oral Health

There are a variety of ways to prevent dental health issues in your dog.

1. Annual oral examinations

Taking your dog for a yearly dental exam is a key way to prevent dental issues, or to discover them. These exams are most effective if they include x-rays and cleanings done under general anesthesia, meaning that your dog is unconscious. This allows the vet to do a thorough exam and cleaning, which would be difficult and painful if your dog was awake. They’ll check for pockets around your dog’s teeth, scrape away any tartar above and below the gum line, and remove any dead tissue.

2. Daily tooth brushing

This is one of the best ways to prevent tooth issues in your dog. It can also help to slow down the progress of any existing dental issues. You’ll need a dog toothbrush, a dog toothpaste, and a lot of patience and gentleness. Make sure you praise your dog and give them a treat afterward, to help build positive associations with this daily routine. For more challenging dogs, there are dental chews and dental sprays that can be used daily. 

In addition, you can look for oral care products that contain natural, helpful ingredients like neem oil, peppermint oil, and aloe. Neem oil is an antiseptic, and antibacterial with a lot of antioxidants. It’s said to help dogs who have smelly breath. Peppermint oil is similar but has the added benefit of making your dogs breath minty fresh. Aloe may be healing and soothing to your pup’s gums. These are natural ingredients that help keep your dog’s mouth healthy and strong. There is a variety of toothpaste, chews, and sprays with some or all these ingredients. But what’s most important is the daily brushing, no matter what product you use.

3. Daily chew time

Making sure your dog has daily access to quality chew toys helps to keep their teeth clean and prevents the build-up of harmful plaque. Choose rubbery toys and thin rawhide that bends. If your pup starts to shred the rawhide, make sure you remove any pieces that they could swallow. Also recommended by vets is to avoid hard treats. If you can push your thumbnail into the treat and it leaves a mark, it’s a tooth safe treat. Also avoid giving your dog tennis balls, since their fuzzy surface can wear down your dog’s teeth.

4. Good quality dog food

Ask your vet about a dental diet. A dental diet is a food that contains special ingredients that can protect your dog’s teeth from plaque. It can also mean using dry food since dry food helps to scrub teeth clean as your dog eats.

5. Regularly check your dog’s teeth

You can help prevent dental issues, or catch them before they get worse, with regular visual examinations. Check for broken or discolored teeth. Do a smell test on your dog’s mouth (they’ll be happy to help with this.) and pay attention to any smell that returns within a month or two after cleaning. Look for blood in your dog’s water bowl, and on any toys your dog is chewing on or playing with. Feel for lumps or bumps in your dog’s mouth, or around it. If there is a lump on one side, but not the other, that could be an indicator of swelling. Be sure to notice any increased resistance to having their teeth brushed. Listen for chattering teeth while your dog eats, this can be a sign of dental pain. And finally, pay attention if your dog is avoiding eating, or turning away from food. Any of these issues mean a trip to the vet’s office because they may indicate that your dog is in pain and urgently needs oral care. 

Three Signs Your Dog Needs a Dental Check Up

While dogs are notoriously good at hiding oral discomfort, there are a few signs of dental issues that you can look out for. 

1. Bad breath

Dogs get halitosis too, and one cause of stinky breath could be from an overgrowth of bacteria in their gums or teeth. If you’ve noticed your dog’s breath getting progressively worse, it might be time to take him in for a dental check up. 

2. Drooling

Drooling is one sign of tooth issues that your pup can’t hide. Not every dog will drool as a result of dental issues, but some do. So, if you’ve noticed your dog drooling more than usual, take a good look at her teeth and schedule a vet appointment. 

3. Decreased appetite or eating more slowly

While some dogs’ with dental issues will power through the pain eating causes, some dogs won’t. If your dog is eating less, or eating more slowly than usual, it could be a sign of problems with his teeth.

Try Pet CBD From Pet Releaf

Your pet is so lucky to have you, and you know you’re lucky to have your pet. The great people at Pet Releaf feel the same way about their pets and have worked extremely hard to create the best pet CBD on the market. They want to help pets all over the world be their best, happiest, healthiest selves, and they believe that using quality CBD can help pets achieve and maintain optimal health. 

The teeth are made from bones and form bony, immovable joints where they meet with the gums. CBD may help support healthy bones and joints and may help maintain strong bones. It may also help maintain healthy bone and joint function. When it comes to pesky inflammation, CBD may help support a normal and healthy inflammation response. Plus, CBD may offer support when it comes to occasional discomfort and soreness. 

Whatever your dog’s needs are, Pet Releaf has a great CBD product for them! Does your dog love treats? Well, they’re sure to love Pet Releaf’s line of Edibites CBD and herbal supplement chews. While these aren’t treats, but supplement chews, Edibites are delicious and come in a wide range of flavors and effects. From Digestive health chews in Sweet Potato Pie flavor to Hip and Joint chews that taste like peanut butter and banana, your dog is sure to love Edibites! They also offer different kinds of hemp oil and hemp oil capsules. Their regular hemp oil and hemp oil capsules are Certified organic! They also offer Liposome CBD, which is CBD mixed with fish oil, so your dog will get a healthful amount of omega-3 essential fatty acids. If you’re not sure what to choose, try Pet Releaf’s helpful product finder. You’ll get to answer a few questions about your cute dog, and they’ll make product recommendations for you. Try Pet Releaf CBD, your partner in your dog’s optimal health. 

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