Is Fido suffering from bad breath? When he greets you, panting profusely, eagerly wagging his tail are you beginning to wish that you where really being greeted by his the end with the tail attached? Are his teeth a dark shade of brown rather than a sparkling white? What all this may indicate is that Fido may issues with his oral hygiene.
A dog will be prone to the same teeth and mouth problems as a human, with the same terrible consequences to their over-all health. Periodontal disease, which is caused by a build up of tartar around the gum line, will lead to infections that can enter the blood stream and go on to affect major organs like the heart and the liver. Just as a human should to keep the teeth clean, so does Fido!
Feeding Fido dry kibbles rather canned or soft meat variety of dog food can go a long way to preventing the build up of tartar, and chewing can break down the stuff already existing on the teeth. Although if the condition of the teeth is already quite bad a trip the vets is in order for some professional descaling. There are many chewy products on the market which encourage Fido to masticate for the good of his own health. However, there is nothing that the larger dog loves to chew than a big meaty bone, which helps the molars and premolars. However, for the front teeth (and for smaller dogs who are not so enamoured with chewing) brave owners may have to resort to the tooth brush and paste.
Dogs can be sensitive about their mouths, and Fido may be resistant. It can also be intimidating for the wielder of the toothbrush when confronted by something which might remove a finger. If you manage to get Fido used to having his mouth handled at an early age it will be less traumatic for you both. Do not be tempted to use toothpaste formulated for human use: it foams and dogs have a tendency to swallow rather than spit. This could be troublesome in two ways: for a start if Fido swallows it will not be good for his gut; if on the other hand Fido escapes with a foamy it might cause widespread panic in the neighbourhood. Fortunately there are doggy friendly pastes available from the vet, which come in a variety of meaty flavours. As for the brushes, any soft standard toothbrush should do the trick.
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