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Proper Dental Care For Your Dog

In front of the Shibuya Station in Tokyo, Japan, a bronze statue stands.

Patiently waiting at the end of the station is Hachiko, a dog known as a figure of loyalty in Japanese culture.

The famous Akita dog is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner Professor Ueno. Hachiko waited for nine years, nine months, and fifteen days after Ueno’s death.

Hachiko has been the subject of films and books and the inspiration for various popular culture works.

In 1987, the movie Hachiko Monotagari depicting the events in the dog’s life became the year’s top Japanese film at the box office.

In 2009, American actor John Archer headlined Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. The film took inspiration from Hachiko’s life.

Dogs as Man’s Best Friend

Dogs have inevitably become part of human existence, taking the nickname “man’s best friend.”

The four-legged member of the genus Canis tops the list of pets owned in the US. In fact, 36.5 percent of households contain at least one dog.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) noted that Americans own an estimate of 78 million dogs in 2015.

A thorough study of dog-human relations by John Archer of the University of Central Lancashire revealed that 40 percent of dog owners identify their dog as a family member. This finding reflects the social compatibility between the two species.

In Japan, a research team also found a possible reason for the close relationship between humans and dogs.

According to the research, people and dogs release a hormone called oxytocin when they look into each other’s eyes. Oxytocin is the same hormone released when a human mother holds her baby.

Excavation at Lake Baikal in Siberia also indicated the close relationship between people and their dogs existed way back in time.

Remains of dogs between 5,000 and 8,000 years old revealed that dogs were buried alongside humans in cemeteries. It also suggests dog domestication and esteem for the animal.

The money and time people spend on their dogs further validated the importance of the animal to men.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), a household spends 378 US dollars on veterinary care of dogs. The amount is a huge contrast to the 191 US dollar expenditure per household on cats.

Other research revealed that in the course of the dog’s lifetime, humans walk them an equivalent of 283 marathons.

Dental Care For Your Pet

Aside from ensuring that they get the right exercise and food, your dog’s dental health is vital to its overall well-being. After all, dental problems can cause or be caused by other health concerns.

Here are some reasons why dental care is vital for your pets like dogs:

  • Healthy teeth, gums, and mouth help your pet obtain good overall health.
  • Proper dental care can deter bad breath due to decaying food and bacteria.
  • Like in humans, unhealthy teeth can also lead to issues of other body organs in your pet like the heart.
  • It’s often difficult to know if your pet is suffering from a dental problem until it reaches an advanced stage. Remember, pets are good at hiding pain.
  • Although dogs have a comparatively higher pH level in their saliva than other animals, they can still suffer from dental issues like gum disease. According to a study, four in five dogs age over age two have periodontal disease.

How To Take Care Of Your Pet’s Teeth

  • Visiting a Veterinary Dentist

AVMA suggests that your pet’s teeth and gums be checked yearly for signs of problems and to generally keep the mouth healthy.

A veterinary dentist can clean, adjust, fill, extract, and repair your dog’s teeth and tend to other aspects of its oral health.

During a checkup, an X-ray may be done to evaluate the health of the jaw and tooth roots below the gum line.

A thorough cleaning and evaluation are performed under anesthesia to remove dental plaque and polish your dog’s teeth. Anesthesia is necessary to do the procedure with less stress and pain.

How do you take care of a dog’s teeth?

To properly take care for your pet’s oral and overall health, you must be aware of the risks your dog may be subjected to. It matters to know that gum disease is deemed the most recognized complication in cats and dogs. This almost always leads to tooth loss.

When this takes place, it may become complicated for the dog to consume food. And as a consequence, their health may suffer. This is due to the fact that periodontitis or gingivitis, just like in the case of humans, can cause dental caries and other forms of decay without treatment.

More than that, this conveys that your dog can certainly start losing their teeth, making it painful or a lot tougher to eat food. Dogs, unlike humans, do not have a dentist who can install dental crowns, fill cavities on their teeth, or carry out root canals.

If these fundamental dental procedures are feasible, and you are fortunate enough to find a specialist, then these dental operations would undoubtedly be quite expensive for your pet to undergo. This is particularly true if your pet is already old.

Meanwhile, an adverse effect of gum problems includes bad-smelling breath or doggy breath. Take into consideration that a dog’s breath relies on factors like diet. However, hygiene can truly be the primary culprit.

So, rather than not paying attention to your pet’s unpleasant breath, it is advisable to do something about it and look for ways to treat it.

While proper pet care is valuable, the main point here is that it is a myth that a dog’s mouth is not really considered more hygienic than a human’s mouth.

However, this does not convey that it’s a risk to have your pet lick you. Rather, bear in mind that a pet is reliant on his/her owner, and you are absolutely in charge of your canine’s general health and wellness.

Some things that can help alleviate your dog’s bad breath comprise of the following:

  • Brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. Consider buying oral rinse for them, which can be bought at local pet stores or online.
  • Give your dog treats to chew on to help eliminate plaque from the teeth.
  • Make sure to maintain routine oral hygiene visits at the groomer or vet.
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