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Dog tartar removal is an activity that many pet owners don’t spend much time thinking about. But if they really love their dog and care for his well being then they should take the problem of dog tartar seriously. Tartar can cause a number of different health issues as it builds up in your pet’s mouth. If neglected, it can even lead to fatal complications. Thankfully there are many options for getting rid of tartar buildup from your dog’s mouth.
Dog Tartar Is A Serious Matter
Imagine if you never ever brushed your teeth. Bacteria forms plaque on the teeth which builds up until it forms a thick coating over the teeth known as dental tartar or dental calculus. This leads to gingivitis, a dental infection of the gums. Your dog’s gums look red and inflamed and their breath likely smells pretty bad. Teeth may rot, leading to difficulty eating due to the pain caused by the rotten teeth. They may even break, leaving jagged edges in the mouth that can injure your dog further as well as cause severe pain.
When you are in pain, you tend to be cranky and depressed. You don’t want to play. You’re hungry because you aren’t eating enough since chewing is painful. These same things happen with your dog too. He doesn’t enjoy life the same way because he is uncomfortable and in pain. He may be snappish and more easily irritated than normal.
All of it sounds pretty disgusting and painful but these complications are not the worst possible outcome. Tartar removal can help prevent bone loss which can lead to jaw fractures and infections. Because the gums are an area with a high degree of blood flow, infection has an easy pathway from the mouth to major organs like the heart liver, kidneys, and lungs. These infections can be fatal, especially to dog’s already vulnerable as a result of age or illness.
Different Options For Dog Tartar Removal
The easiest way of them all is to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are a number of ways to incorporate tartar removal into your normal routine. Feed a hard kibble and chewing treats such as raw bones and dental treats that will act abrasively to clean the teeth. You can also brush your dog’s teeth once every other day and get your dog used to touching his mouth and teeth cleaning process.
Not all dogs will allow you to brush their teeth. For this reason, there are several different dental rinses that can be added to your dog’s drinking water to remove tartar buildup gradually. You can also choose dog toys that are designed to help scrape plaque off their teeth as they chew on them and thus help in plaque removal.
In severe cases, you may need to have your dog’s teeth cleaned properly by a veterinary. To do this, most veterinarians will put your dog under a general anesthetic. Tartar can be removed using scaling, ultrasonic cleaning, and polishing in the same way that your dentist cleans your teeth. Rotten, loose or damaged teeth are also pulled out if needed. Some veterinarians even offer dental x-rays now.
Ideally though, you make tartar removal a fun activity from the time your pet joins your family. This can help avoid a lot of complications and expensive treatments later in his life.
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth Regularly Will Help
Brushing is the best way to accomplish dog tartar removal. It’s not the easiest but in the long run it is the most effective way to avoid an expensive dental cleaning. Use a toothpaste designed specifically for dog tartar removal. Only use dog toothpaste as human toothpaste contains a substance called Xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
There are a number of dog toothbrushes which are specially designed to help in the dog tartar removal process. Some go over the tip of your finger while others looks more like traditional human toothbrushes.
If you have never brushed your pet’s teeth before, start small. Brush a few of your pet’s teeth and then take a break and reward your dog for being patient and letting you get it done. The next time, try to get a whole side of the mouth done. Be persistent, patient and reward your dog for his part in holding still and he will eventually get used to it. Dog tartar removal is like nail trimming, a necessity that your pet will come to accept in time if you approach it with the right attitude and introduce it properly.
Dog tartar removal is as important to your dog’s health as proper nutrition, regular veterinary checks, and decent shelter. You should be making dog tartar removal a priority if you have not up until now. Start by looking into your dog’s mouth. What do you see? Do you smell bad breath?
If things don’t look good, consult your veterinarian immediately and schedule an appointment for dog tartar removal. Your dog’s life could depend on it. And that makes it a priority for any dog lover.