In dogs, gingivitis is a part of periodontal disease. Whenever a dog eats, food particles and bacteria can build up along the gum line. When this occurs, it is referred to as plaque. If not removed, plaque can turn into tartar. Tartar takes approximately 3 to 5 days to form. Unfortunately, tartar can be irritating to a dog’s gums, resulting in an inflammation that is known as gingivitis. Fortunately, gingivitis and periodontal disease can be prevented.
Canine Preventative Dental Care
One of the first steps to preventing gingivitis is choosing the right type of food for your dog. The reality is that soft foods are more likely to cause plaque build-up along the gum lines. While feeding your dog soft canned food occasionally is fine, it is still better to provide the dog with a hard kibble as a main staple. This is because the kibble can help keep the teeth cleaner in the long run.
Treats and toys are also an important part in preventing canine gingivitis. As an owner, you can provide your dog with a variety of dental chews and toys that are aimed at cleaning a dog’s teeth. The more the dog chews, the better the overall health of her teeth will be. However, avoid chews that are too hard for your dog, as it is possible for the teeth to get cracked or chipped on a bone or rawhide that is too difficult for the dog to chew. After all, you wouldn’t give a Yorkshire Terrier a bone that’s meant for a Great Dane.
Lastly, as an owner you must make it a point to clean your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. By regular, I do mean at least once a day. Fortunately, this is an easy habit to get into. Whenever you get ready for bed or are getting up in the morning, simply brush your dog’s teeth before or after you brush your own. Of course, this is just a recommendation as you can brush your dog’s teeth whenever you have time throughout the day.
To brush a dog’s teeth, you must purchase toothpaste and a toothbrush that is meant for use in canines. Brushing daily will greatly reduce the amount of plaque present in your dog’s mouth. Reducing plaque will help to prevent gingivitis from occurring.
What Should I Do Once Canine Gingivitis Has Occurred?
Fortunately, gingivitis is only the first stage of disease and can be reversed. Daily brushing will do exactly that. Once you have reversed the effects, be sure to provide your dog with proper food, chew toys and dental treats; which can help maintain the dog’s healthy teeth.
Pet Education: Periodontal Disease in Dogs
Pet Education: A Complete Dental Care Program for Dogs
Pet Place: Gingivitis in Dogs
Dental Vet: All Pets Dental