Taking care of your dog oral health, you have to look in the mouth often and in detail. Why? Before we explain further, let's learn about this system and how it works.
First we must specify that dogs have 42 teeth, designated to them by Mother Nature to rip and not chew. You may have noticed in your daily six-legged life that your dog chews very little and swallows pieces of food which are quite large.
The dog has six top incisors plus six below and their canines are like the tip of an iceberg, of which you see only a part. The root of these teeth it is about one and a half times that of what is visible and gives it great strength and endurance when it bites.
The molars and premolars are not made to grind, like ours, but to cut. Their shape is in fact “a trap” and you will see how dogs use it by tilting their head slightly, placing to the side of the mouth food, a treat, a stripper, whatever they wish to cut. You’ll notice that sometimes they even take the object between their legs, giving us the funny impression they’re savoring something. Really they are exploiting the strength of their molars. Like us, dogs change their baby teeth with permanent ones when they are puppies.
What we consider a minor enemy of our mouth, to brush, indeed, brushed off easily by the dentist, for dogs may be a much more terrible enemy. I refer, of course, to tartar. The aforementioned poor mechanical action of dogs’ chewing, causes for the teeth not to be “cleaned” or brushed efficiently. More than a few veterinary experts believe that dry food helps dogs fight tartar with its roughness, whereas, due to previously referred reasons this is not exactly true.
Tartar can also can creep in between the gum and the teeth, creating a pocket, which, even if the tartar is removed, it will leave the area exposed and render it sore upon contact with water, air and the accumulation of food. The tooth will always hurt and it could mean that a drastic solution will need to be taken in order to remove it.
You must still specify that some species are more prone than others to the formation of tartar in teeth and small dogs in particular suffer from it most.
But it is not yet time to take action and go fight this enemy, we first need to know who we're dealing with and who plays its dirty game.
Dirt often accompanies stench and the breath of your dog could unfortunately spoil the good times you spend together, be they games you play or even some simple close time. The breath of a dog will never smell like that of your partner before a passionate kiss in front of the sunset and you can not offer him a mint, however, if it stinks, or at least more than usual, there could be an actual issue.
Stinky breath is a very important indicator, setting off alarms… or perhaps smells. A puppy with breath smelling of garlic, or similar to it, is usually a symptom of roundworms’ presence, in layman, they are unpleasant worms. The foul-smelling breath could also be an indication of an invisible problem that for example we can not see because it is located in the teeth at the bottom. A sudden worsening may even signal an infection.
Keep an eye on the drool, unless yours is not one of those dogs that naturally produces it in large doses. Even this could be a sign of problems.
As a rule, the role of the mouth should not be underestimated in the general well-being of an animal. Oral bacterial infections can instigate emboli which can even cause problems in the liver, heart and lungs.
Now that I have alarmed you enough and your attention brings with it the power of awareness to the importance of the subject matter, it's time for advice for good habits.
It will probably not surprise you to read that nutrition is crucial in the health of the mouth.
Be an exceptional and an exceptionally healthy chef in what for him is a restaurant rated 5 bones. Good food promotes a positive natural flora and the correct pH of saliva, which determines the greater or lesser formation of tartar.
To err is unfortunately all too easy and a dog sensitive in this organ may suffer bad breath, mouth infections, gingivitis, laryngitis, stomatitis and tracheitis, excess dental plaque and tartar deposits, and other diseases that may be caused by an intolerance.
But do not despair, if your dog is suffering or has suffered from these disorders there are also functional diets that thanks to their formulation and supply of precious natural elements such as herbal extracts, help him to restore the health of the mouth. I cite for example the diet FORZA10 Oral Active, designed by SANYpet's Department of Research and Development specifically for this.
Also moderate the frequency in which you give “our” food. It is often difficult (very often) to resist those eyes, but remember that excess can make them get sick, not all foods that we like are good for them and their diet should be regulated differently from ours.
Is that all? Of course not.
Really? Well, clearly it depends on the treats.
It would be foolish to bring the utmost care and attention to the kibble and then spoil it with wet food and treats not up to par, compromising the good results achieved.
Moist food tends to get stuck easier in between the cracks and promotes bad breath and tartar, this is undeniable, this is because of its texture/shape. The dry mix and wet, however, optimize the intake of water and respects the best water requirements, while reducing the risk of occurrence of diseases in the urinary tract. The moist one is also a more tasty food that does not necessarily need to be given up.
Treats, however, can be a big risk if chosen incorrectly, ruining proper nutrition and good health, but at the same time, if chosen properly, can be an extraordinary element of aid. Some Treats may in fact facilitate the cleaning of the teeth and operate a gum massage. In addition, it can be a very useful tool for puppies’ loss of baby teeth and the strengthening of new ones, as well as it will satisfy their need to bite, incise or munch.
Paper and pen in hand, here’s what to write down to ensure the well-being of your dog’s mouth, in order to sum up all that we’ve mentioned previously.
High quality food, i.e. healthy and made with clean ingredients. “Health through nutrition” is SANYpet - FORZA10 mission, because nutrition is the key to the general health of our dogs and of course of his mouth, the organ which they use to nourish themselves.
Moist food and treats that have the same requirements of the dry food and they complement each other synergistically.
Treats designed and produced for the cleaning of the teeth.
Finally, there are toothpastes intended for the cleaning of dogs’ teeth, just as there are for us. You'll have to be the one to brush them for them, so in the latter case ask him if he agrees to it. Not everyone is willing to allow someone to rub their teeth for them, but if you are I recommend you take advantage of this opportunity.
It will still be the vet, who will inspect the dog, to determine the state of health cleanliness of his mouth, and to decide if a particular cleaning is necessary or not.