- Dental Care
- Good dental care includes with
regular veterinary visits, daily home oral care and veterinary dental cleaning
- Imagine how your teeth would look
and feel if you did not brush them daily. The same applies to your pet's
teeth. Unless you are regularly providing some form of dental care, you
are neglecting an important factor in the overall health of your dog.
- Periodontal (gum) disease is one of
the most common conditions seen by veterinarians today. The problem begins
when plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on your dog's teeth. Plaque
harbors the bacteria which can infect gum tissue and the roots of teeth
resulting in disease and tooth loss.
- Besides the negative impact on the
teeth and gums, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream. The veterinary
community has documented that tooth decay causes other internal diseases such as
heart, liver and kidney diseases. Brushing your dog’s teeth can prevent
a lot more than just dental disease.
- Signs of poor oral hygiene include bad
breath, sensitivity around the mouth, pawing at the mouth, loss of
appetite, plaque, tartar, bleeding, inflamed or receded gums, loose or
missing teeth, or difficulty eating and chewing food.
- Brush your dog’s teeth regularly,
daily if possible. Dog’s teeth build up plaque just like a human’s
teeth. If left uncared, the dog will need to have its teeth cleaned
professionally much sooner than if regular care is given. When a dog's
teeth are professionally cleaned, the dog must be anesthetized. This
always presents some risk…not to mention cost.
- Use a pet toothpaste
and either a pet toothbrush, a finger cot or a gauze pad. It is
important to use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for pets. A pet
toothbrush is ultra-soft and shaped to fit your dog's mouth and
teeth. The dogs like the taste of the pet toothpaste flavors.
Pet toothpaste does not need to be rinsed and it is safely swallowed. Do not use
human toothpaste or baking soda. These products often contain ingredients
which should not be swallowed by pets.
- Begin slowly and gently, be patient
and give your Westie lots of petting and praise. Get the paste on the
teeth, especially in the back. The toothpaste has an ingredient that works
without doing a lot of brushing. Gradually build up to approximately 30
seconds of brushing per side. Always reward your dog after each session.
- If you are having any problems
brushing your dog's teeth, contact your veterinarian.
- More information about dental care
can be found on the following websites:
Westies and Electric Toothbrushes
A Complete Dental