There are several reasons why we urge dog owners to be sure they’re taking care of their pet’s dental needs.

Dental Problems Can Cause Serious Health Issues.

Most pet owners understand that dogs get plaque and tartar buildup just like humans. And without regular brushing that can lead to yellow teeth, bad breath, and gingivitis. Over time, these problems can cause decay which may require surgery to remove the affected tooth (or teeth); and a stressful visit to the vet for the procedure, anesthesia, pain management and recovery. Moreover, the loss of teeth can impair normal eating for some breeds. Over longer periods of time, untreated canine dental issues can lead to life-threatening infections and/or heart, liver, and kidney disease.

How To Take Care Of Your Dog’s Teeth.

The first and most important treatment is to brush your dog’s teeth at least three times per week. This is a little more work for you, but worth the time and effort to minimize the need and cost to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned. Use a specially designed “doggie” toothbrush and toothpaste to clean around and below the gum line for best results. For dogs that are resistant, anxious or uncooperative, start out slow by brushing just a few teeth and after each brushing, reward your pet with a special treat. (Perhaps one made specifically to aid good dental hygiene.) Gradually increase the area you brush until your dog no longer fears the procedure and in fact looks forward to the treat for good behavior.

Once every six months, we do recommend that you have your dog’s teeth cleaned professionally.  Most vets offer the service, though this typically involves anesthesia and is more expensive than providers who offer medication-free services. Ask your pet store provider to recommend an experienced and reputable provider. There are many specialists in this field who perform the procedure under the supervision of qualified and licensed veterinarians. After all, the cost for anesthesia-free dental care is typically much less and just as effective as sedating your dog for the procedure.

Finally, if your dog does have a serious dental problem, don’t delay. We strongly recommend you visit your veterinarian for a thorough physical evaluation and treatment. This is important to avoid more serious health issues than may result from poor or no consistent dental hygiene.

Choose Dental Friendly Dog Treats.

There are many products available that dogs love, that promote good dental hygiene. The immediate benefit is that your dog’s breath doesn’t stink.  The longer term benefit is that you can defer or eliminate dental problems, especially later in your dog’s life. Moreover, these treats don’t necessarily cost more than conventional products. You can shop online…or better, visit a local pet store to consult with people that know a lot about these products and what’s best for your pooch.

Love’s Pets is a neighborhood pet store located in Agoura Hills, California serving the communities of Oak Park, , Calabasas, Malibu, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Moorpark and the entire Conejo Valley.  The business specializes in helping you keep your dog happy and healthy. The owner, Larry Horn is in the store daily and brings over 30-years of experience serving his customers.