Skip to main content

Dental care for dogs

The teeth of a dog is very important, same for humans, having a poorly maintained set of teeth can affect your dog more than you think. I'm sure all owners who love their dogs have thought of bringing them for dental scaling at some point throughout their life, however due to certain reasons most don't. In this post we will talk more about the dental health of a dog and how professional dental scaling can help make your dog's later part of life better.

What will happen to dogs with dirty teeth?
1) Dental diseases
When your dog's teeth is dirty, it means that a lot of germs and bacteria can accumulate inside their mouth, this can lead to a lot of dental diseases like gingivitis, periodontitis (gum & bone infection) and accumulation of plaque and tartar.

2) Bad breath
Other than dental diseases, dogs with dirty teeth may also start to produce bad breath, some are so bad (depending on how bad the condition) that owners can even smell it from a distance, licking will be even worst, this can be very unpleasant and most people would gradually refrain from getting near their dog's mouth.

3) Loss of appetite
When your dog's mouth is infested by dental diseases, it's teeth and gums will gradually weaken, which may rot or even fall off, this also means that eating will become a problem, a lot of dogs show symptoms like lack of appetite and stop chewing their food because of this, early signs includes toothache and fever.

4) Reduced motivation to play
When a dog's teeth is weak and uncomfortable, not only will they lose interest in certain food/treats, they might also lose interest in games like fetch games, balls & certain toys. This might not happen to young dogs now, but as years goes and they get older with their weak teeth, owners will then be able to understand what we are talking about.

5) Weakened immunity
Many owners think that dental diseases only affects the mouth of a dog, the worst than can happen is being unable to chew it's food right? No, dental diseases like periodontitis affects the teeth and gums of your dog, the toxins from periodontal disease can travel through blood stream, which can lead to your dog's liver, kidney & brain, this also means that you are unknowingly shortening your dog's life!

6) Infectious
If a dog has dirty teeth, it can also transmit bacteria to other living things during bites, not only through aggressive bites, even play bites can be infectious and cause unwanted sickness to other dogs/people.

Why dental scaling
Dental scaling is a procedure to remove mainly plaque and tartar, which are almost impossible to clear when they are formed and stuck to your dog's teeth. If untreated for long period of time, dental diseases will start to manifest your dog.

Types of dental scaling - As believed by most owners
1) Scaling by veterinarians
2) Self scaling by owners (scaler, herbs etc)
3) Scaling by groomers or other people

Types of dental scaling - Truth
1) Scaling by veterinarians

That's right, there is no other way to do dental scaling than to be done at the vet, many owners (around the globe) do not understand about this, people simply think that scaling is all about using a rough object to push out dirt, it's not. Dental scaling requires a set of professional scaling tools, it's not the cheap scaler that is sold on Amazon, even with a set of professional equipment, one also needs to be well equipped with the knowledge to do dental scaling on a dog, and this person is not the groomer or even yourself, this job can only be done by the vet. Before scaling, your vet will advice whether or not your dog needs to do scaling by doing an oral check, he/she should also advice based on the age and condition of your dog, GA (general anesthesia) is inevitable when it comes to dental scaling. Professional scaling includes oral check, GA, scaling, polishing and updates to owners on how to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

How self scaling can harm your dog
More often than not, people want to find the most hassle free and 'cheapest' way to save their dog, this can range from food to even complicated things like medication, doing so is actually equivalent to risking their dog's life just because they want to save some money. Of course, there are also people who do not wish to let their dogs go for professional scaling due to personal and safety reasons.

No matter what the reason is, self scaling (including scaling by groomers) is not an option for your dog, we will share the 4 dangers you face with self scaling below. Note that this includes using scaler and some weird chinese plant that is circulating around the internet, they are all dangerous objects for you to try on your dog!

Self scaling can risk:
1) Hurting your dog's gum
If you have ever gone to a dentist, you should know that it requires a lot of skills to scale a set of teeth properly, fidgeting can actually cause problems even for professional dentists. With self scaling on dogs, the chance of the scaler/herb scratching your dog's gum is very high, when the object scratches the gum, it can actually pass down toxins from plaques and tartar into your dog's bleeding gum directly, to add on the fact that dogs will definitely move with these kind of procedure, you are risking a very high chance of injuring, infecting and traumatizing your dog.

2) Damaging the surface of your dog's teeth
Without necessary tools, skills and polishing (after scaling), self scaling can cause permanent dents on your dog's teeth, this dent will serve as a safe place for bacteria to accumulate, which means that your dog's teeth condition will be worst than before even though it looks clean on the outside.

3) Dental diseases striking your dog without warning
Self scaling only targets the outer area of a dog's teeth, which means that even if it looks white on the outside, the dog will still be vulnerable to dental diseases, this is dangerous as it will be very hard to see with bare eyes whether or not the teeth condition is good, this kind of illusion is just like human teeth whitening, which are only there for looks. Dental scaling has to be done on the outer, inner and gum line of your dog's teeth to be free of plaque and tartar, this can never be achievable with self scaling.

4) Support harmful procedures like self scaling
When inexperienced owners see results like white teeth, they right away rush to share with everyone about the "good" news, they feel happy with their choice without even knowing the consequences they will have to face later on, this only creates more confusion and rumors that appears to work, truth is these people are actually sharing the news to harm more dogs. When more people start to opt for self scaling, groomers will be tempted to earn easy money, ultimately the one that suffers are usually the poor dogs.

Why most inexperienced owners prefer self scaling instead of professional scaling
1) It is cheap
2) They are do not have time to bring their dog over to the vet
3) They do not want to risk putting their dogs under GA
4) Thinks that procedures and result are the same as professional scaling
5) Friends/Online recommendation

Of all these reasons, point 3 & 4 makes the most sense, as we have explained about point 4 that the procedures are actually not as simple as most people believe, it now boils down to the last reason - 'They do not want to risk putting their dogs under GA'. It's true that there is a chance of complications during/after General anesthesia, this can be very concerning and we can understand why, however there is a way to overcome this and we will explain how below.

☻ Look for a trustworthy vet
Make sure you have a trustworthy vet before doing any operation procedure, a good vet will not force you to buy useless things like food & supplements without any valid reason, a good vet will always put your dog's health first, not money.

☻ Follow your trusted vet's instructions
Following instructions is very important, which is something a lot of owners are not able to do. For example most vets will tell you not to feed your dog xx hours before GA, just follow instructions properly and your dog will be fine.

☻ Do a pre-surgical test before GA
Doing blood and urine test can help to make sure your dog is safe to go for GA, pre-surgical tests helps to check for abnormality like heart/liver/kidney diseases, diabetes and even heartworms. One thing to note is that complications with GA is not as frequent as most people think, the average chance is 1 out of 100,000, and pre-surgical test may help to eliminate that 1 chance.


Won't the chance of complications increase if the dog has to go for dental scaling every year?
The thing is that dogs do not need yearly scaling unlike humans, scaling is only needed if there are large accumulations of plaque and tartar, the key is how you maintain your dog's teeth to reduce the number of times needed to visit the vet. If well taken care of, your dog will just need to go for scaling about once every 3 years (or more), which means that throughout it's lifetime you probably only need to do it 3 times or less depending on how well you maintain it's teeth after scaling.

How to maintain?
One of the most straightforward way is by brushing, daily brushing is advisable. Brushing a dog's teeth is not like how you brush your own teeth, the idea is to get enzyme (dog toothpaste) all around your dog's teeth carefully, there is no need to do hard brushing, which will only hurt and traumatize your dog, brushing is the best thing you can do for your dog, not self scaling! Other than daily brushing, there are also other alternative you can try if you are unable to brush your dog's teeth daily.

Below are the ways to help keep your dog's teeth clean:
1) Brushing with dog toothpaste
Use a dog toothbrush and paste, make sure the size is right for your dog, find something that taste pleasant.

2) Water additive
To be added inside your dog's drinking water, this helps to loosen plaque, which can form into tartar later on. You can put a few drops into your dog's drinking bowl daily, it is harmless and tasteless.

3) Enzyme spray
It works like brushing but is definitely not as clean, enzyme spray can be used once a day (or more depending on the directions), it is good for owners who are unable to do brushing daily, there are many brands but not all work well.

4) Dental chews/treats
Dental chews/treat are very useful to rub off plaque without hurting your dog as they are busy enjoying the taste. Invest in quality ones as they are much safer and healthier for your dog.

5) Chew toys
As dogs chew on rough objects, their teeth will also become cleaner. Once again, invest in quality chew toys.

6) Kibbles
Kibbles can help a little to keep your dog's clean, quality kibbles are not only healthy, they are also convenient to feed!

For quality dental products, we do provide maintenance set which includes dog toothbrush, toothpaste, dental spray, water additive and dental treats, feel free to drop us a email at amberwonderland@gmail.com if you have any orders or enquiries!

This post ends here, once again, always consider what you are doing, the internet is not as safe as before and we have to constantly remind people because this involves the health of our dogs, we have seen too many dogs suffering due to the wrong decision of owners and it's disheartening to learn that these consequences can be easily prevented with proper knowledge.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

First time to Pasir Ris Farmway (Pet Farm)

04 Feb, my husband's colleague decided to get another puppy so he drove us to Pasir Ris Farmway to look for puppy since we wanted one as well. He already has a 1 year Male Yorkshire Terrier so he was looking for another breed to accompany his Yorkshire. The farm was really hard to get to if you do not drive a car, unless you don't mind calling a cab. It's in the deepest part of the road and there ain't any buses around. When we first went to the first shop at farmway 02, we met a very stuck-up pet owner. Very "hao lian(proud)" with his puppies and even said all his prices are very CNY, all ended with $xx88 which means good luck for the Chinese people. We saw a pretty red toy poodle but it was sold, so the shop owner told us to buy his other puppies instead since all his puppies are so-called "high quality". I think that shop was kinda overpriced for every puppy that he quoted.

One of the pups that he was selling, poodle was just besides it, seeking f…

Vet Review - Light of Life Vet

This was a very tedious search for us, finding a good vet for Amber. I researched online for many weeks before coming to a conclusion. I called most of the "recommended vets" and asked questions regarding consultation, spay and deworming. I also wanted to see whether the staffs knew what i inquired about. I would ask them stuffs like what does the spay consist, when can i take Amber home, how old should Amber be spayed and why. Some of the staffs do not even understand what i was talking about and told me to book an appointment to ask the vet what i needed to ask, so i blacklisted those clinics. I also cancelled out vets that are overly expensive and too far for transport, i do not want to make the trip back after surgery hard for Amber. Although i usually trust the internet for reviews of good vets in Singapore, i do see some ridiculous recommendations on vets based on things like "good to chat", "funny" and i even saw a thread to recommend the vet becau…

How to take care of your dog before and after Spay/Neuter

Many owners, especially first timers have no idea how to take care of their dogs after spay/neuter operation, owners that do not know what to expect could easily be traumatize by the experience along with their dog. This is why we have decided to come up with a tutorial on how to take proper care of your dog during the healing process. Before deciding on spaying/neutering your dog, it is good to first read up the pros and cons of doing it, don't spay/neuter your dog just because other people do it, check it up, study about it and take some time to decide.

Amber at 6 months old