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Subject(s): Lifestyle

lifestyle smiling dogs dental

As pet parents, our dog’s overall health means a lot to us.  However, sometimes it is easy for us to overlook the most common (and preventative) diseases that can affect our four-legged family members.

We all know that diseases such as pet obesity (see our article Obesity in Dogs) are becoming all too prevalent.  However, the greatest general ailment of dogs is dental disease which impacts 76% of the total canine population.  Although this disease can arise in all breeds, more incidences occur in small breeds such as Dachshunds and Yorkshire Terriers.[1]

Just like us, our dog’s teeth and gumlines need proper care.  By age three, they too experience plaque which can solidify into tartar.  This tartar can spread below the gumline, triggering swollen gums and bad breath. Furthermore, this can cause damage to your dog’s organs as the bacteria enters the bloodstream through absorption.  Therefore, the bacteria under the gumline must be removed professionally, cleaning and repairs to teeth, as required.  This procedure will include x-rays and possibly anesthesia to make your dog more comfortable during the process.[2]

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, you should have your veterinarian examine your dog’s teeth and gums at least once per year.  They state: “Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings, and may reduce the frequency or even eliminate the need for periodic cleaning by your veterinarian.”[3]

In the area of oral hygiene for our dogs, there are preventative steps we pet parents can take to ensure the overall health of our pets.  When brushing your dog’s teeth at home, check with your veterinary professional regarding the type of toothbrush to use and a brand of toothpaste created especially for dogs.  Never use human toothpaste on your dog:  It can be lethal. Ingredients such as Xylitol are toxic for dogs and can lead to serious organ damage.  Besides routine brushings at home, your veterinarian may recommend treats and chews, which can aid in your pet’s oral hygiene.[4]

All of us at Do Only Good (D.O.G.) Pet Food care about the holistic health of your dog.  As always, please feel free to Ask Dr. Johnson any questions you may have about your pet’s nutrition.

[1]Banfield Pet Hospital “State of Pet Health” (2016)
[2] American Animal Hospital Association: “10 Facts you need to know to Protect your Pet’s Oral (and overall!) Health”
[3] American Veterinary Medical Association: “Pet Dental Care”
[4] American Kennel Club: “Keep your Dog’s Teeth Clean with Five Tips”



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