Columnist Roger Salmon: Dental advice to get your teeth into

Roger Salmon
Roger Salmon

Many people do not realise that dental disease is very common in dogs, particularly gum disease.

Dental care should be part of your daily routine and will help to ensure that your dog lives a happy and healthy life .

Ignoring dental care can result in a reduction of length of life.

Below are some tips to avoid your dog developing dental problems:

Toothbrushing, when done regularly, is the most effective way of removing plaque from your dog’s teeth and keeping the gums healthy. It will also prevent bad breath.

Daily toothbrushing when the puppy is young so that it will soon learn to accept this as part of its daily routine is important.

A good quality human toothbrush is the best type of brush for your dog. An adult toothbrush can be used for large and medium breeds, while a child’s toothbrush can be used for small to medium breeds.

Puppy toothbrushes can be purchased from your vet, which are more suitable for miniature or toy breeds. Finger brushes and soft brushes can be used initially to familiarise your dog with the sensation of toothbrushing.

It is important to use pet toothpaste. These are flavoured so that dogs enjoy the taste and will cooperate with toothbrushing; malt flavour seems to be the favourite.

Your dog will swallow the toothpaste so it should not contain any ingredient that can cause him harm.

Dogs do not like human toothpaste as the taste and foaming effect is not suitable.

Pet dental products are readily available through your veterinary surgery.

Most dogs enjoy chewing so select a safe rubber chew such as a Kong or rawhide strip.

Do not let your dog chew bones or stones as this can break teeth or lead to serious health problems.

A dog suffering with toothache will rarely show any signs of discomfort or changes in eating behaviour You should therefore get your dog’s teeth checked every year by the vet usually at the time of booster vaccination.