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Have you ever wondered why your dog has such a toothy grin? Well, the simple fact is that dogs have a third more teeth than humans. Dogs have 42 teeth compared to just 32 in humans.
When your dog reaches adulthood he will have 4 types of teeth:
Keeping your dog's teeth and gums in good shape is really important. If a dog loses an tooth to decay it will not grow back. Poor dental health can cause unecessary pain, bad breath, inflamed gums and infections. In severe cases dental and gum problems can even affect the heart, liver and kidneys.It's estimated that around 80% of dogs have signs of periodontal (gum) disease by the age of 3 years. Periodontal disease is a bacterial disease caused by plaque forming around the gums and bone of the teeth.
Dogs are more prone to gum disease than humans due to the fact their mouths are more alkaline than ours, and of course very few of us brush our dog's teeth twice a day!
So what can we do to keep our dog's teeth and gums in good shape? Chewing on bones, kibble and toys all help sweep plaque away and reduce the risk of gum disease. If you feed your dog on a wet diet, it's a good idea to add a specific chew for teeth on a daily basis. This also applies to owners who feed their dog a dry kibble, but add water to soften them before serving.
Chews for teeth cost less than 20p per day and can reduce the build up of plaque and tartar by up to 80%. The unique shape of DENTAstix ensures the chew is pushed towards the back of the mouth to clean the hard-to-reach premolars and molars. There's a suitable size of chew for all dog breeds too. Chews also provide a few minutes of fun and mental stimulation for your dog each day too!
Remember, most insurance policies do not cover dental problems so it's certainly money well spent.
There are also tooth brushes and paste designed for dogs. These also do the job, but owners may find the experience messy and fiddly. Additionally, some dogs will not particulary enjoy the intrusion of having its teeth brushed.
Yes. Many short-muzzled breeds such as the Pug and the Shih Tzu have tiny jaws, meaning their teeth are often crowded in tightly which can lead to plaque build-up. The Shetland Sheepdog has a long and narrow muzzle and the breed often has an uneven bite which can lead to dental problems. Here's a few breeds that are prone to dental problems.