Golden Retriever Holding Toothbrush

The Importance of Dental Care For Your Golden Retriever

Many of us underestimate the importance of dental health for our Golden Retrievers.

Keeping your Golden Retriever’s teeth and gums clean is a crucial part of your dog’s overall health and well-being.

Today, there are numerous dental tools and products that will help with canine dental care. These make regular dental cleaning at home very easy. Brushing your Golden’s teeth every day keeps cavities at bay, and also prevents periodontal disease. That said, pet parents need to keep in mind that bad breath is the first indication of periodontal disease.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 80% of dogs will be affected with periodontal disease by age three. Dogs need to have their teeth examined and cleaned by a veterinarian twice a year. In this way your veterinarian will be able to check for signs of dental problems.

Common Dental Problems in Golden Retrievers

The AVMA advises pet parents to check for the following dental issues:

  • broken or loose teeth
  • extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • reduced appetite or refusal to eat 
  • pain in or around the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Swelling in the area around the mouth

Symptoms of Dental Problems in Your Golden Retriever

Bad Breath: If your Golden’s breath smells bad, have his teeth examined by your veterinarian and professionally cleaned. Nonetheless, this is not a substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. Pet parents need to maintain oral care in between dental visits, and to also use a combined routine of dental products, dental treats, and dental supplements.

Drooling: Your Golden Retriever’s excessive drooling may be due to a painful dental condition, or something that is stuck inside or between a tooth. In this case, it is necessary to take your Golden to the veterinarian for a dental examination.

Not Feeling Well: Oral bacteria from dental problems enters the bloodstream, and may cause multiple health problems, some of them severe. Damage to the kidneys, heart, liver and lungs can also occur if dental treatment is not sought immediately. Serious problems like tooth loss to organ failure may occur due to dental neglect.

Mouth & Cheek Pawing: Check the inside of your Golden Retriever’s mouth for ulcers and for inflamed, red gums. Visit your veterinarian as soon as you notice a dental problem with your Golden. Never ignore a dental problem, even if it seems minor. Dogs with dental pain with also become irritable and may have behavioral changes. Most dogs tend to regain their appetite after a visit to the vet.

According to a recent 2018 Consumer insights Market Structure Study, 48% of dog parents find that using dental chews and dental sticks are not enough.

Effective Tips For Brushing Your Golden Retriever’s Teeth

  • Opt for many different canine toothbrush brands, and a few different flavors of canine toothpaste or canine dental gels.
  • Before brushing your Golden’s teeth, examine his mouth for any chipped or broken teeth. You should examine his or her mouth every day for sensitivities which you’ll notice when brushing.
  • Look out for abscesses and ulcers. You don’t want to hurt an existing oral condition, and your Golden Retriever may associate the pain of the toothbrush against an abscess with brushing his teeth. This will make it more difficult for you in the long run, since he may run away from you when he sees you carrying his toothbrush.
  • All breeds will have different sized teeth. Smaller Toy breeds will have smaller teeth compared to larger breeds like the Golden Retriever. Keep this in mind when purchasing toothbrushes for your Golden.
  • The finger toothbrush is easy to use, and will slip over your index finger. It is the easiest to use when first starting off with brushing. Washcloths or dental wipes also may be used to wipe over your Golden’s teeth. Try a variety of dental tools to see which ones works best for your Golden.
  • Purchase a canine toothpaste since human toothpaste is toxic to dogs, and could poison your Golden if ingested in large amounts. Human toothpaste can also cause liver and kidney damage. Those with xylitol cause low blood sugar in dogs, and can be life-threatening. If you suspect that your Golden has ingested any human toothpaste, seek immediate veterinary treatment. Canine toothpaste is available in chicken, beef or peanut butter flavors, formulated especially for dogs.

Dental Brands for Golden Retrievers

Canine dental brands like Oxyfresh offer effective methods to support dental health. Oxygene helps to effectively neutralize bad breath in dogs, and also eliminate plaque and tartar formation. Because a dog’s quality of life and longevity depends on regular dental care, it’s important for Golden pet parents to use effective and safe canine dental products. Here are some suggestions:

  • Daily water additives
  • Dental gels
  • Dental sprays

These can be used together with daily brushing and teeth cleanings at the veterinarian.

What to Look for in Dental Care Products for Your Golden?

  • Opt for products that have been awarded the Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal (VOHC).
  • Purchase the latest dental products that inhibit plaque formation and use the latest formulas.  These products will dissolve the bio-film where plaque forms and bacteria have adhered to. They also whiten teeth and strengthen enamel.
  • Canine toothbrushes need to have a 45-degree brush head for optimal removal of plaque, bacteria and debris from beneath the gumline.
  • When choosing canine dental chews look for the latest formulas and flavors. Many brands offer dental health guides to show pet parents how to take care of their dog’s teeth and gums effectively.
  • Dental treats and chews should be combined together with gels, pastes, and brushes for optimal dental care.
  • Opt for well-known brands that have good reviews, and that are passionate about canine dental health.

Dental Brands That Are Worth a Mention

Dental hybrid chew toys that serve as both treat and toy allow for longer chewing time, thus encouraging dogs to chew longer. Golden parents should look for pet dental care products that all work together with the same end result in mind. These should be as follows:

  • Visible results
  • Maintaining effective dental hygiene
  • Easy-to-use
  • Safe and non-toxic, possibly organic
  • Free of chemicals, dyes and preservatives
  • Brushless toothpaste formulations that have a deep cleaning action and work well in dogs that don’t enjoy opening their mouths and having their teeth brushed.
  • Dental formulations that work well for sensitive gums, and that also contain different ingredients for dogs that may have some sensitivities.
  • All canine dental products should have one ultimate goal: to curb oral diseases and target specific areas of a dog’s mouth.
  • Toothbrushes that massage gums gently
  • Dental bundles for affordability

How to Brush Your Golden Retriever’s Teeth?

Start of by allowing your Golden Retriever to sniff the toothbrush with the toothpaste. Reward with the clicker, a healthy treat, and lots of praise.

  • Place a little toothpaste on your finger, and allow your Golden to lick it off. Praise your dog, and offer him a treat.
  • Gently using your finger with a tiny bit of paste, rub some on his teeth and gums working in a circular motion. Your Golden Retriever needs to get used to the taste and the motion of having his teeth cleaned. Reward again with his favorite treat! ( a tiny piece of cooked salmon or chicken)
  • Next, apply the pet toothpaste to the toothbrush, and begin by brushing the four outer sides of his teeth. Brush gently, close to his gums, all the while praising your pet. Continue with the next four teeth, and so forth, continuously praising him.
  • When your Golden Retriever begins to enjoy this, you can start brushing the inside of his teeth. Leba 3 or Vetzlife Oral Care are good quality dental products for both cats and dogs. 
  • Daily brushing is important for all Golden Retrievers, and needs to be followed up with a professional veterinary cleaning when needed, usually twice a year. This will be done under anesthesia, and after blood work, to see if your Golden Retriever is healthy enough to have anesthesia.

You Can Control and Eliminate Plaque and Calculus Formation in Golden Retrievers by doing the following:

  • Opting for specific dental hygiene diets like Royal Canin Dental (Consult with your veterinarian)
  • Feeding dental chewable treats
  • Using high-quality canine dental products like dental water additives
  • Brushing your Golden Retriever’s teeth every day without fail, even if he runs off when he sees you waving that toothbrush!
  • Visiting your veterinarian for regular dental scaling and polishing.
  • Consulting regularly with your veterinarian for the best dental advice.

Do Water Additives Work?

These are dental rinses that are easily added to your Golden’s water bowl. They help to keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean and healthy. That said, you’re easily able to see if he drinks it because it’s added to his water bowl. Water additives are great because they are easy- to- use, and also help to improve doggie breath in Goldens. Opt for well-known brands with good reviews.

How About Gels and Sprays for Your Golden Retriever?

This is another effective method that is simple and easy. Canine dental sprays and gels are made especially to soften plaque and tartar. These products work beneath the gumline, and prevent buildup. They also destroy bacteria, help prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease Additionally, you don’t need to reach the teeth when using the products since you’re spraying into your Golden’s mouth. The ingredients in the dental spray then disperses in the saliva, and targets hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. There’s very little stress involved for both Golden and dog parent with these products.

Fun with Dental Toys

Although this method of dental care does not suffice alone, when combined with other methods, it is very effective. Dental dog toys should be used together with other dental care products for effective dental hygiene. These help to scrape off debris that leads to plaque buildup in Goldens.

Ropes and rubber dental chews that are free of lead and other toxins have great perks in that they offer mental stimulation, and contribute to your Golden’s oral health. Look for durable and safe dental ropes and rubber chews to ensure safety.

Investing time and money in canine dental care is vital to your Golden’s health and longevity.

Also consider pet insurance that will cover many dental procedures. Regular brushing will pay off in the end, ensuring healthy pearly whites, and a healthier Golden Retriever. Additionally, keep in mind that left untreated, dental infection can enter your Golden’s bloodstream and spread to his organs. Good oral health is not just important for people, but for dogs too!

Resources

  1. https://www.avma.org/Search/results.aspx?k=dental
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120326113436.htm
  3. https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/dog-goods-usa-llc-expands-voluntary-recall-chef-toby-pig-ears-pet-treats-because-possible-salmonella
  4. http://vohc.org

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