Did you know plaque can lead to heart disease? Plaque overtime turns into tartar that eventually causes gum inflammation and exposes blood vessels that bacteria enter and finds its way into the heart.
Dental Health is an absolutely vital part of dog care and should never be left unattended to.
To minimize any plaque and tartar I give my dogs a lot of different chewies:
dental hill’s food (I give it as a treat), etc
Genetics also plays a role in how fast the plaque is built up. Teach your puppy to show you teeth from early age to be able to evaluate the pace of the plaque built up on your own dog’s teeth.
Many dog owners are wary of veterinary dental cleaning and use services that do it without anesthesia. I ask my puppy buyers to stay away from such services and highly recommend professional vet dentals that we do for our dogs as well.
Benefits for the dog at the vet: the anesthesia is minimal and does not affect the dog, the teeth are X-Rayed (very important step!) prior to cleaning to ensure no abscess or significant bone loss is present – my own experience: I brought a dog for a cleaning, all teeth looked perfect, just needed cleaning, after the xray the vet calls me saying there is a major abscess in the gums under a tooth with resorbed root, of course we proceeded to extract it.
The vets are able to clean the tooth properly outside and under the gum unlike the services that offer cleaning without sedation.
I always vouch for professional and thorough work.
In many instances the front incisors need extraction or special treatments due to being loose (which is common in older dogs or those with developed tartar). If the vet suggests to extract, I suggest to do it, the dogs don’t care how many teeth they have, they’ll be able to eat their favourite treat regardless, trust me, they adapt easily. Us, the people, are the ones obsessed with the pristine look and full count of teeth and feel heartbroken when our dog loses some or needs extraction.
The quality of the teeth is primarily genetic, your job is maintaining them in good condition.
Give your dog lots of chewies, don’t pull too hard during tug-of-war, be considerate of the dog’s teeth size and quality and brush at least weekly, the more the better.