We decided to take a look at a topic not often discussed, but still vital. What is it? Your dog’s mouth.
When I recently rescued my pup, I rushed out to buy all the necessities. You know: dog bed, food, treats, toys, harness, coat, leashes etc.
The one thing I didn’t think about? His oral health. I hate to admit this, but, it just NEVER occurred to me that dogs need oral upkeep too. I mean they have teeth and gums just like us hoomans. I was made aware of this fact at my first vet visit.
After I left the vet’s office, a little embarrassed about my appalling knowledge of dog dental hygiene, I went home and furiously researched it.
Here’s what I’ve learned —
1. Dogs have a total of 42 teeth.
2. Just like humans, dogs have baby teeth that fall out and within 6-7 months of age, adult teeth should have erupted.
3. They are highly unlikely to get cavities as they do not consume sweets and due to the different surface texture of their teeth.
4. You can tell a dog’s age based off of their teeth. In puppies, age is determined by the growth of teeth and in adults age is determined by tooth wear.
5. According to the ASPCA, approximately 85% of dogs over five years of age suffer from periodontal disease. This basically means dogs get plaque, which (if not cleaned properly and thoroughly) leads to Tartar (that’s harder to clean than plaque) which leads to gum disease which leads to loss of teeth!!!! Gum disease isn’t just painful for your dog, it’s irreversible. That in itself was a huge wake up call. What’s worse? The bacterial infection in their gums can travel via their bloodstream to various organs including their brain and heart!
With the fast-paced lives we lead, it’s a miracle if you wake up in the morning and remember to brush your own teeth, let alone your dog’s. And brushing you dog’s teeth is no easy task.
No need for panic, puppers! There are a bunch of easy solutions to getting your dog’s dental health up to doge dentist standards.
Let a tough rope toy with doggie toothpaste on it do the work for you. Just chewing on it should help clean out your pup’s teeth.
Give your pup ample chews. According to the ASPCA, “edible chews, such as rawhide, pig ears and natural bones, as well as hard, inedible chew toys, like Nylabones® and Greenies® Smart Chews™, can also reduce plaque on your dog’s teeth.”
Veggies like carrots are tough enough to get the plaque out while keeping your pooch’s breath fresh.