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How to Keep Your Dog’s Smile Pearly White

Your dog is going to need those teeth for a long time

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A whopping 80% of dogs and cats will show signs of periodontal disease, including red and swollen gums, bad breath, pain, and tooth loss. Small and mid-sized dog breeds are especially susceptible.

If left untreated, periodontal disease progresses to plaque build up, gum recession, loosened teeth, bad breath, inflammation, and bleeding of the gums, and, eventually, loss of teeth, oral infections, and even poor overall health.

Bad breath is usually the first telltale sign that your dog has underlying oral health issues, but you need to tackle more than just the funky breath! An easy to follow (this is key to success) oral health care regimen is extremely important for your dog’s long-term health and also reduces the likelihood of periodontal disease, discomfort for your dog, and costly teeth cleaning visits to the vet, which usually require general anesthetic.

In short, it’s time to commit to an action plan! We asked Bluestem, pet oral health care experts, for a routine that works. Here are their four steps to ensuring your dog has a healthy mouth and keeps those teeth!

Good oral care for dogs is not that different than it is for people. We brush, rinse, and (hopefully) floss; the same multi-pronged approach works best for dogs.

1. Mechanical
The single most effective mode for cleaning teeth is the mechanical action of direct contact. Brushing teeth using toothpaste formulated for dogs is the best defense. Specially designed dental chews and toys can also provide the mechanical abrasion to clean dog’s teeth.

2. Rinsing
Rinses complement the mechanical action of teeth cleaning by ensuring the whole mouth—teeth, tongue, gums and palate—receives attention. Of course, dogs and cats can’t rinse and spit so an easy to use drinking water additive is the ideal choice. Gels and foams can also be used. The key is to choose a rinse formulated for pets that has the right formulation to prevent and disperse biofilm, which is where harmful bacteria associated with periodontal disease multiply.

3. Diet
Specialized dog food products are also available, usually in larger, dry kibble form. These foods help clean teeth through chewing action.

4. Make It Routine
Just like caring for our own teeth is an everyday function, so it goes for cats and dogs. It’s important to select a routine that you, as a pet owner, can conveniently take care of every day. This is why daily use of an oral care rinse for dogs, like an oral care water additive, can be a great idea.

*Big Business Where’s there’s need, there’s demand. The pet oral care market is forecast to grow to nearly $1 billion
by 2020, and sales of products in the category will outpace overall pet market sales.

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