According to Dr. Rene Carlson, president of American Veterinary Medical Association, “It’s estimated that by age two, 80 percent of dogs … have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the most common health problem that veterinarians find in pets.”
First, your dog should have yearly dental check-ups, to make sure the teeth are clean and there are no problems. Yes, a dental check-up costs money, but not nearly as much as periodontal disease or an infected tooth. Dr. Jules Benson, VP of Veterinary Services at Petplan Pet Insurance Told DogChannel that in 2011, the average cost of veterinary care for periodontal disease exceeded $450 per incident, with costs reaching as high as $2,650!”
Second, you need to do teeth cleanings at home. You don’t brush your teeth only once a year, do you? No, and your dog shouldn’t either. You should brush your dog’s teeth at several times a week; every day is better. They make standard, battery-operated, and finger brushes for dog’s; use whatever type you and are dog are most comfortable. Don’t use the finger brushes if you think your dog might bite – better it bite a brush than your hand!
While brushing, the AVMA says to check for these signs of trouble:
- Bad breath—Most pets have breath that is less than fresh, but if it becomes truly repugnant, that’s a sign that periodontal disease has already started.
- Frequent pawing or rubbing at the face and mouth.
- Reluctance to eat hard foods.
- Red swollen gums and brownish teeth.
Third, there are many supplements and treats you can give your dog to help keep their pearly whites clean between brushings. Make dental health a regular part of your dog’s care.
Keep your dog’s smile bright!