Most people believe that their dog has bad breath because of what the dog eats. This is not true. The fact is that your dog needs to have his teeth and gums cleaned regularly, just like humans. Bacteria builds up in the mouth and causes tooth decay and gum disease. It is important that you brush your dog's teeth regular, give him or her rawhide or hard rubber chew toys, and feed food that provides a well-balanced diet that is high in meat content. In addition, when you take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup, make sure to ask for a dental check and have the doctor clean the dog's teeth. Poor dental hygiene in dogs can lead to a number of problems.
Kidney and Liver Damage
As bacteria multiply in your dog's mouth, they attack the teeth and gums. They can cause infections in the mouth. These infections can then enter the blood stream and travel through to the body. The liver and kidneys will work to clean the blood, removing the bacteria. In doing so, the bacteria can infect the organs, causing damage that may not be noticed until it is too late.
Lack of Nutrition
An infection in your dog's mouth causes pain, and may result in tooth loss. Both the pain and lack of teeth make it difficult to eat. Now your dog is not getting adequate nutrition. He or she will lose weight, become less active and be unable to fight the infection. This can result in major health problems and possibly even death.
No matter how calm, tame and gentle your dog is, when he or she is in pain things can become very different. An abscess in the mouth, or even a toothache can be so painful your dog will not want to be touched or messed with. You or a child could be bit while trying to play with your dog the way you normally do.
Be sure to keep up with your dog's dental health. If you start when he or she is a puppy it will allow him or her to become used to it. While brushing, take a good look inside the mouth, looking for decay, abscesses, or tumors. Any time you notice a problem, have your veterinarian, such as at Kenmore Veterinary Hospital, do a thorough teeth cleaning. Taking care of your dog's teeth can add years to his or her life.