Does my senior dog need dental hygiene or not?
The simple answer to this question – Does my senior dog need dental hygiene or not? It is yes!
Now with being said let’s explain why that is the case. By the way, before we get started – thanks for reading our blog article written by Tuscawilla Animal Hospital. Okay, so dental hygiene forms an important part of the care for all dogs including senior dogs. Just because your furry friend is much older does not mean you should stop caring for his or her hygiene needs.
Be aware, unlike your human family that can use a toothbrush before bed or in the morning, this is something that your furry friend is unable to do for themself. Therefore it falls to you as his committed and responsible petowner to undertake this on their behalf.
By taking good care of your dog’s teeth from puppyhood, you can help to minimize his risk of developing oral health conditions and from these affecting his general health. However, no canine’s teeth are infallible.
So as your dog gets older and earns the title of ‘senior dog’, any dental problems that may be developing can start to cause serious issues for their health and comfort. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to support the dental hygiene of your senior pet throughout their senior years in your family.
Why is dental hygiene so important for senior dogs?
Understanding why keeping the good hygiene of a dog is critical is something not everyone knows. Even if you are an experienced owner, you may well not realize that you need to pay special attention to the dental hygiene of your beloved dog.
Just like us, your dog is reliant on his or her teeth for biting and chewing food. Did you know, that failing to look after them can make it difficult and painful for your dog to eat? It is true, dogs won’t always show pain like we do, but trust us when we say that this is unpleasant. Plus beyond the pain issues, there can be much more serious problems that can occur too.
What problems are caused by poor dental hygiene in senior dogs?
Just like in the human medical world, veterinary case studies are done too. They have shown that the health and condition of your pet’s teeth can have a detrimental impact on his overall well-being. Poor hyigene can lead to health problems including:
- heart disease,
- high blood pressure,
- Alzheimer’s disease,
- liver disorders
- kidney disorders,
- thyroid function issues
All these health problems have all been shown to be more common in canine patients who suffer from dental disease. Did you know that dental disease also known as gum or periodontal disease? It is! This dental disease is an inflammatory infection that occurs when the plaque and tartar that can accumulate on your dog’s teeth can start to irritate the soft tissue of his gums.
Canine dental disease is extremely common amongst dogs, with around 1 in 3 showing signs of the condition by the time they reach their 3rd birthday. Unfortunately, the damage caused by dental disease is irreversible. Instead, you should focus on preventing it as much as possible.
This is something that is particularly important for your senior dog as their natural ability to fight infection becomes compromised by age. With a weaker immune system due to age, it makes him or her less likely to be able to combat the effects of dental disease.
Here are good ideas and tips for maintaining your senior dog’s dental hygiene.
Brush your senior dog’s teeth regularly. – Does my senior dog need dental hygiene or not?
Hopefully, you do already, but if you don’t, start doing it now. You need to start brushing your older dog’s teeth today or tonight before you go to bed. If you do brush, but not daily, then you should start trying to make this important process part of your day-to-day routine.
When you brush your teeth afterward take time to brush your dog’s teeth too. By doing this, your senior dog’s teeth will have less plaque and tartar. The only way to remove the plaque and tartar is by brushing and not doing so will lead to dental disease. And of course, you can understand that is a bad thing.
Consider choosing a soft-bristled brush and special pet toothpaste, never use human toothpaste as it is highly toxic to dogs. As you brush your dog’s teeth, please pay special attention to the area where your dog’s teeth meet the gums. Why? This is where plaque is most likely to congregate. Obviously, this area can affect and infect your dog’s gums.
During the brushing, show a lot of verbal love to your dog. After you are done brushing his or her teeth – again offer plenty of love and praise to your dog. By doing this, it will soon make a positive association with the process, making it far easier for your pet best friend for life to accept that brushing is going to be happening daily.
Invest in dental treats for your Senior Dog. – Does my senior dog need dental hygiene or not?
Who does not love giving their dog a treat? I think almost everyone does. But we recommend that you give your dog treats should be given sparingly. From doggie ice cream to dog bones and everything in between, there are some that are designed dog treats specifically for a canine’s dental health.
Did you know that these include ingredients that promote good dental hygiene? It is true, investing in a quality dental treat once a day can actually boost the oral health of your senior dog.
Here is a few different types of dental treats to look at investing in:
- Good Overall: Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dental Chewz at Chewy
- Good Budget-Friendly Option: Milk-Bone Brushing Chews Daily Dental Dog Treats at Amazon
- Here is a Grain-Free Dental Treat: Greenies Grain-Free Natural Dental Dog Treats at Amazon
- Maybe You Prefer Vegetarian Products, Here is one: Virbac Tartar Control Dog Chews at Chewy
- Good for Small Dogs: Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews for Small Dogs at Amazon
- Better for Large Dogs: Purina DentaLife Adult Large Dog Treats at Amazon
- This one is Good for Senior Dogs: Greenies Senior Aging Care Natural Dental Dog Treats at Chewy
Buy More Chew Toys for your Senior Dog. – Does my senior dog need dental hygiene or not?
Most pet owners are not aware that chewing is actually a natural instinct for most dogs. Dogs like chew toys as a good way for them to relieve their boredom, especially during their puppy years.
A good chew toy is also very beneficial for your canines’ teeth. This is because chewing stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away bacteria. This salvia will help get rid of food debris that causes plaque naturally. By buying your senior dog with a chew toy, even one that is of the soft variety, you will help his dental hygiene. So don’t wait for your dog’s birthday or seasonal holiday – buy one today.
Here are a few Chew Toys and Soft Sqeeky Toys to consider:
- Fresh Mint Scented Brushing Ball
- Senior Kong
- Hear Doggy Plushies
- Stinky Squeaker Sneaker™
- Doggie Dice™
Please note these recommendations are for toys we play with our own pets – feel free to check out other options at local retailers too.
Don’t Forget To Visit Us – Your Local Veterinarian Clinic Regularly
As a 5 Star Vet Clinic in Seminole County Florida – we pride ourselves in helping you with keeping your dog healthy and active for as many years as possible. As a respected veterinarian, we have training and experience that enables them to spot dental problems that your senior dog may be developing, as well as health complaints.
Did you know, that by performing an annual or bi-annual assessment of your dog’s teeth, we or maybe your local vet if you don’t live in Central Florida may be able to identify if there are any dental issues that require support to prevent or treat them.
Either way, a good veterinary clinic can also perform a professional-grade dental cleaning for your dog. This cleaning is performed under general anesthetic and will get into the hard-to-reach areas of his mouth that might otherwise get overlooked. So, if you have any questions – schedule an appointment with us.
Thanks for reading “Does my senior dog need dental hygiene or not?” by the Tuscawilla Animal Hospital in Seminole County Florida.
If you are concerned about your senior dog’s dental health, you shouldn’t delay in arranging an appointment for a check-up. Problems can develop much more quickly and have much more serious consequences the older your dog gets. To book your consultation with our dedicated and experienced veterinarians, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices based in Central Florida.
The Tuscawilla Animal Hospital wrote this article to help you better understand the Dental Health Issues with a Senior Dog called “Does my senior dog need dental hygiene or not?”. And we hope you learned something new plus enjoyed reading it. Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook now! Remember we love caring for your pet no matter what stage of life he or she is in. Again, thanks for reading this blog article.