Bacterial plaque settles on the surface of the teeth, and together with the minerals contained in saliva and food debris, causes the formation of tartar. This, in turn, can lead to gingivitis, pain, halitosis, tooth loss and/or difficulty when chewing, among other problems.
To help reduce these problems, it's important to maintain proper oral hygiene, because if they are not addressed in time, the result could be more serious health issues... So as you can see, this is something you need to take seriously.
Given how important it is for your dog to keep his teeth and mouth healthy, you need to do all that you can to help. Here are a few tips:
This is a task that’s not without its complications, especially if your four-legged friend isn’t used to it. But no doubt you’ll know how to win his trust by making a fuss of him. A special toothbrush together with a dog toothpaste will equip you well for the fight against tartar buildup.
To get your dog used to having his teeth cleaned, it’s best to start off when she’s a puppy, although if this hasn’t been possible there are some things you can do to help him get used to it. For example, apply the toothpaste with your fingers before moving on to using a soft brush once he gets used to the taste.
Next choose a medium-bristled brush, one designed to reduce tartar buildup. It’s important to be consistent, and to clean your dog’s teeth at least three times a week, especially if she’s a small breed, as smaller breeds tend to be more prone to dental problems.
Ah! And don’t forget to reward him for his good behaviour. A sweet treat never hurt anyone!
There are many foods on the market that help to fight tartar buildup. These will be your allies in the battle – but although they’re a help, but do remember that they won’t remove the need to clean your dog’s teeth if tartar has already formed.
Miniature breeds are more prone to suffer from tartar buildup because they have smaller mouths and therefore tend to be at greater risk of ‘overcrowding’ - that is they have the same number of teeth as a larger dog, but less space in their mouths to accommodate them. This means that bacterial plaque will build up more quickly.
The new Ultima Mini recipes combine minerals and aloe vera in a specially sized croquette that helps to reduce tartar buildup.
A bigger croquette generally means that in most cases the dog will sink his teeth into it, and in this way achieve a ‘brushing effect’. This can help to reduce plaque, which leads to tartar buildup, and contributes to good dental hygiene.
There are mouthwashes available on the market that help to reduce bacterial plaque.
They can be diluted in water, or used as a spray that can be applied directly to your dog’s teeth.
If your four-legged friend is good enough to let you clean his teeth, then he deserves a treat! And what better than a dental chew – that way you kill two birds with one stone, as these help to remove food debris. They come in different sizes, for either small or large dogs.
If despite all your best efforts your dog is suffering from tartar buildup, you’ll have no choice but to take him to the vet for a really thorough cleaning which will have to be done under anaesthetic.
Complete oral hygiene needs to become a routine part of your dog’s life. Defence is the best form of attack, so start your offensive against tartar before it appears! Clean his teeth using a special brush and a toothpaste for dogs, don’t forget the other things that you can do that we’ve mentioned above, and take him to the vet when you think it’s necessary. Then he won’t be afraid to smile!