Are your little dog's teeth less than luminous? Is their breath a bit embarrassing? With February being National Pet Dental month, now is the perfect time to put some more attention towards your pooch's chompers and be sure that you are doing all you can to have their nickname soon become "fresh mouth."
One of the first signs of dental issues is bad breath, known as halitosis. A very common cause of this is food particles building up on the teeth and gums causing plaque, which can further lead to gingivitis or even periodontal disease. As a matter of fact, small dog breeds run a greater risk of developing periodontal disease than the bigger breeds, since a small dog's teeth are often too large for the size of their mouths. Because of this, it's important to have your dog feel comfortable with you putting your fingers near and even in their mouth so that regular cleaning won't be much trouble for either of you. By beginning a dental "teamwork" regimen right from the start, your little one will realize that tooth cleansing simply comes along with the territory!
Using doggie dental gloves is a great way to bond with your dog while practicing proper hygiene. The gloves feature soft built-in brushes on the forefinger and thumb, so you have total control as you help remove tartar buildup and massage the gums with your own gentle touch. Simply put on the glove, apply a pet toothpaste onto the bristles, slip your finger inside your dog's cheek and glide across the teeth and gum line.
For added freshening insurance, toss your dog a
dental chew bone, preferably one with all-natural breath-sweetening ingredients like chlorophyll and parsley. One bone daily for a small dog can help make their mouth a breath of fresh air, but always supervise your canine best friend whenever they are consuming any type of edible bone or chew toy. There are also products that can be added to food or water daily that will naturally inhibit plaque formation and foul-smelling breath.
Please note, if bad breath becomes a persistent problem that just seems to be getting worse, a visit to the vet's office is a must. In some cases, it may be caused by a more serious condition, such as diabetes, kidney malfunction, oral infection or respiratory disease. So be sure to keep up with proper dental hygiene and mind your little one's mouth.
- S. Athanasiou