The thought of our dogs silently suffering from an easily preventable illness is absolutely heartbreaking. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, as many as 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of 3 are suffering from a disease that is not only painful, but outright deadly.
What are we talking about? Canine periodontal disease.
Unfortunately periodontal disease is more than just a cosmetic issue. In addition to causing inflammation, tooth loss, and pain for your dog, bacteria that starts in the gums can work its way into the bloodstream and affect the lungs, the kidneys, and even the heart. This condition could be causing your dog to suffer in silence.
Common Signs of Canine Periodontal Disease
#1 – Bad Breath
#2 – Drooling
#3 – Tooth loss
#4 – Pawing at the mouth or difficulty chewing
#5 – Loss of appetite
#6 – Irritability
If you notice one or more of these signs, talk to your vet as soon as possible.
Which Breeds Suffer Most?
While all dogs are susceptible, the following breeds are significantly more predisposed to periodontal disease:
- Poodles (Toy & Standard)
- Yorkshire Terriers
- Shetland Sheepdogs (Shelties)
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
What Does Periodontal Disease Look Like?
The following video is from a real dental cleaning at our resident vet’s clinic (Dr. Kathryn Primm). You will see discolored teeth, loose teeth, receding gums, and more. This is EXTREMELY painful for the pup and requires a very intensive and invasive cleaning from your Vet.
The Solution Is Easy, Yet Hard
Most dogs parents know that we should be brushing our dog’s teeth daily. Many of us, myself included, find this ritual especially taxing between the demands of everyday life and the fact that most pups absolutely abhor this ritual.
In addition, most veterinarians recommend periodic anesthetized teeth cleanings. While there’s no debate this is the most effective method of removing buildup, there are significant risks involved, especially for certain breeds. We recommend getting a couple opinions on this from veterinarians.
While there is no substitute for brushing and periodic vet cleanings, there are some easier to follow steps we can all take to improve the health of our pup’s mouths.
4 Easy Daily Dental Support Habits
#1 – Chewing: Chewing can act as nature’s toothbrush. However, because typical dog food kibble tends to be high in carbs (leading to the accumulation of food around the gums) chewing regular old dog kibble simply isn’t enough. Durable toys with an abrasive surface that help grind away plaque and tartar buildup.
#2 – Dental Treats: Dental chews are a fantastic way to stimulate mechanical abrasion and remove debris and plaque from the mouth. In our research however, many of the products on the market contain a laundry list of questionable ingredients, artificial coloring and preservatives, or wheat and gluten. (This research actually led us to to spend over a year developing our own line of Grain Free Dental Chews)
#3 – Dental Sprays: Using an antimicrobial dental spray for dogs is a great way to help keep your dog’s mouth fresh and clean. If used consistently, they can prevent buildup that leads to plaque. On a per use basis, they are more affordable than dental chews.
#4 – Dental Wipes: Similar to dental sprays, antimicrobial dental wipes for dogs help clean the surfaces of teeth and freshen breath. Similarly, on a per use basis they are also a lot more economical compared to dental chews.
The bottom line is this: Whatever you do, do something! Your dog deserves the best, and while its easy to forget about their dental health, it contributes immensely to their overall health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional.