Posted on: 20 July 2018Share
You've loved your dog for years, but just like people, dogs' needs change over time. When they get older, different problems are likely to arise and you'll have to address them with the love and care you've always given. Since teeth can be a major problem for older dogs, they demand your attention, and, as necessary, some adjustments for both you and your pet.
Apply Breed-Specific Care
If your particular dog has bad teeth in his DNA, you'll need to be extra vigilant. For example, Chihuahuas, Pugs and small Terriers are known for being dental-challenged, among other breeds, necessitating greater care and even planning out a specific strategy for keeping teeth clean and strong. Whether you knew about the potential for this issue with your canine friend before you got him or not, his problems are your problems too and you have to help him overcome the challenge.
Choose Beneficial Treats and Chews for Your Dog
There are treats and chews available, specifically formulated to clean teeth and you should look for them. Even if your dog is used to one kind of yummy and is reluctant to try another, persist in your efforts and he should come around, eventually. No treats are better than bad treats, so be enthusiastic when you present him with the better alternative, acting as if he's getting the most scrumptious treat on the planet. While you won't fool his taste buds, you should be able to convince him that he's getting a 5-bark treat, worth nibbling on.
Brush His Teeth
Actually getting inside your dog's mouth with a toothbrush can be a feat, especially if he's older and set in his ways. Nonetheless, it's just too important an issue to give up on. Avoid scolding your dog if he resists your attempts at brushing, trying to coax him into it instead. Sit down beside him, as opposed to leaning forward, which might make your dog feel intimidated and slowly bring the brush toward his mouth. Each time you try, he should be a little more responsive and soon, you should be able to put the brush right up against the teeth and create friction, to work away dangerous tartar and germs.
Have Your Dog's Teeth Professionally Cleaned at Checkups
Even if you're able to brush the dog's teeth regularly, they should have a really thorough cleaning when he visits a vet's office, like that of Brian E Hall, for his annual appointment. Your vet also needs to get a good look at how the teeth are holding up, to determine if any action is needed, especially if any are loose or extensively rotted. Old teeth might need to be extracted too but hopefully, with the extra TLC you're providing, that can be avoided with your pooch.
Monitor His Diet Carefully
Especially if your old pooch is accustomed to table scraps, it becomes more important as he ages to offer him a healthy diet that works with, rather than against, his oral health. You should be okay adding a nice chicken broth to crunchy dog food to make it more palatable, along with softening it slightly, but avoid feeding him human food, most definitely if there are weight problems affecting your pet. It's best to stick to a canine-formulated diet, geared toward his changing needs.
Your dog should be able to enjoy his golden years, and you can help him do just that, by taking extra care of him as he gets older. Pay particular attention to his teeth, as they're connected to his other areas of health, and be sure and give him extra hugs and pats too.