Many dogs develop problems with their teeth at a very young age, due to the fact that they do not have any form of teeth cleaning other than chewing. In this article, we will explore the possible mouth problems that can affect a cockapoo and give some tips on cleaning your dog’s teeth at home.
Dogs can get many of the mouth health issues that humans can get. Luckily, dogs are much less prone to cavities, but they do get plaque build up if they do not have regular oral care. Your best bet as a new cockapoo owner is to begin a tooth-brushing routine daily, or at least every few days with your puppy. This will get him used to it, and you will be able to continue brushing your cockapoo’s teeth for the rest of his life.
Without regular dental health care, a cockapoo of any age can develop gingivitis. This is a condition of the gums and teeth that can lead to periodontitis, if left untreated. Gingivitis can be uncomfortable or painful to your pup. You may not be able to determine the signs, but if your cockapoo seems to have mouth pain or can’t finish his dog food for a few days, you will want to have his teeth checked out. Other signs of possible gingivitis include: extreme bad breath, swollen gums, bleeding gums, plaque build-up, irregular gum line, excessive drooling, or loose teeth. Small breed poodles are prone to gingivitis, so cockapoos have a higher risk, also. If you notice your pooch with any of these symptoms, make a veterinary appointment right away. Most vets have the ability to clean your dogs teeth, or they can point you where you need to go for this.
Periodontitis or Periodontal Disease is the next stage in tooth and gum issues. This is an inflammation of the gums around one or many of your dogs teeth. The gums can also recede and your cockapoo may lose teeth. Periodontal Disease is essentially a bacterial infection of the gums, so after your initial visit to the vet, you may have to give your pup a course of antibiotics. If left untreated, periodontitis can spread to other parts of the body and your cockapoo will become very sick. Symptoms of periodontitis are puss around the gum line, pawing at the mouth, loss of appetite, depression or irritability, trouble with chewing, loose or missing teeth, and stomach upsets. Your dog’s veterinarian will do a thorough exam of the mouth to determine the course of action needed. If diagnosed with periodontal disease, your dog will need a professional tooth cleaning. This may include root work and descaling. In severe cases, teeth may need to be removed.
Proliferating gum disease is characterized by the gums growing over the teeth, and will need treatment to avoid inflammation and infection. It can be treated with antibiotics. The two types of this disorder are called hyperplasia and epulides. Both have similar symptoms and treatments. These symptoms include an increase in the thickness or length of the gums along the teeth, decrease in appetite, bleeding gums, bad breath, and excess drooling. Severe cases may need surgery, but are fairly easily treatable.
Your cockapoo can also have halitosis, which is very bad breath, and although most dogs have breath that smells bad, if you feel it is severe, this can be a sign of more pressing mouth problems. Although dogs are less prone to it, they can develop cavities as well as the other mouth issues discussed here.
Now the fun part, cleaning your dog’s teeth. There are many products that you can try if you feel there is no way your cockapoo will let you brush his teeth. Our pooch thinks any time you get near his mouth, it is time to either play or run away!
There are many water additives that have no flavor or mint flavor that you dog can drink, and it will break up tarter and plaque to help clean teeth. If you don’t know where to start, you can look for the Veterinary Oral Health Association Seal of Approval on some products. Water additives can be found in pet stores and at online sites like Amazon and 1800PetMeds. Look for those with a good safety track record. This is a good step for good oral hygiene in your cockapoo. You can also try sprays or tooth wipes. Any massaging of the gums can help your dog break up plaque and tarter build up.
The next choice is a good dental chew. There are many choices out there. Greenies Dental Chews for Dogs are a popular and well tolerated tooth care treat. These are meant to be chewed into small pieces, so always monitor your dog when chewing. They are easily digestible and most dogs like the flavor very much.
Last, but not least, tooth brushing is the very best way to keep your dogs teeth and gums clean and healthy. Your veterinarian would advise to brush your dog’s teeth daily, in a perfect world. Here at Cockapoo Crazy, we know that this is not always possible, but here are some tips.
Buy a dog tooth brush and toothpaste specially formulated for dogs. Human toothpaste should not be used on your dog, as it contains fluoride, which can be toxic to your pup. Dog tooth brushes can be long handled, or fit over your finger tip. If you want to, you can even use gauze wrapped around your finger, with a small amount of canine toothpaste, or a tiny amount of baking soda and water.
Get your dog used to your hands being near it’s mouth. Rub around the face and mouth when patting your cockapoo. Massage the sides of the face or gums whenever possible. After your dog is used to this, you can introduce the tooth brush. Remember, it is not vital to dog teeth cleaning for you to use a tooth brush. Even your finger and some pleasantly flavored doggy toothpaste is better than no mouth care at all.
Try to begin brushing after a good walk so that your pooch is a bit tired and calm. Start at the back teeth and use small circular motion on each tooth. Try not to apply too much pressure, and try to get each tooth separately. If your cockapoo becomes too stressed to finish fully, let him have a break and finish later. Dog tooth brushing is not a science, so any way that you feel will work for your cockapoo is a good way!
All of these things will help improve your dogs mouth health and prevent disease. It is recommended that your dog have a full dental check annually by a veterinarian.