Most dog owners are aware that dental hygiene can be an issue for their four-legged friends. After all, dachshunds cannot clean their teeth for themselves, so how likely are they to encounter dental issues, and what can you do about this?
Unfortunately, many dachshunds do have bad teeth, yes. This is because they have a lot of teeth for the size of their mouth, which means their teeth tend to be crowded. Food is more likely to get caught and stuck, and this can cause bad breath, teeth problems, and abscesses.
Dental disease is a problem for many dogs, but if you’re worried about your dachshund, you aren’t alone. However, dental hygiene can be a tricky one, and dachshunds are often stubborn creatures that do not like having their teeth cleaned.
What Dental Problems Might My Dog Have?
So, what issues might your dog run into? One of the first is gum infections, where the tissue around your dog’s teeth becomes raw and inflamed. You may be familiar with this if you have ever had problems in your own mouth. It can be painful and put a dog off its food.
Dogs can also suffer from rotten teeth and cavities, just like people can. These are painful and unpleasant, and if left untreated, can cause serious infections. With their crowded mouths, dachshunds are particularly prone to abscesses, as they have forty-two teeth in total and not much space for them!
Food gets lodged between the teeth, causing plaque buildup and rotting. Because of the crowding, this food is likely to stay stuck for longer, which causes problems.
Dachshunds also have a secondary problem; they often retain their baby teeth for longer than they should, and this can lead to additional crowding in the mouth. If your dog is young, you need to be extra vigilant. Most puppies have lost all their baby teeth by eight months old, but keep an eye on their mouths just in case.
It’s worth noting that dental problems can cause other health issues, so it isn’t just your dog’s teeth at stake here. If you notice a sudden increase in how bad your dachshund’s breath smells, get it to a vet to get its teeth checked for abscesses.
What Causes Dental Problems?
Obviously, dogs can’t clean their own teeth, so the biggest cause of dental problems is the lack of cleanliness. Old food gets stuck in place and begins to rot, attracting bacteria to the dog’s mouth. Unpleasant as this sounds, it’s just how it works unless you brush your dog’s teeth.
A few other things could contribute to dental problems, too. A low-quality diet may leave your dog’s teeth vulnerable to infection, and vitamin or nutrient deficiencies can make your dog’s breath smell worse.
A diet made up of exclusively wet food is also problematic. Dry food helps to keep your dog’s teeth strong and will break up and dislodge bits of food as it is crunched up, whereas wet food will simply mush around in the dog’s mouth.
It is a good idea to feed your dog a mixture of wet and dry food. This should help its dental hygiene and make sure it is staying hydrated.
It may surprise you to learn that chew toys can also cause dental problems. Dogs sometimes bite too hard and injure their teeth or gums on chew toys, especially when they are feeling particularly enthusiastic.
This can lead to sores in the mouth, and make the dog more vulnerable to mouth infections. Try to offer chew toys with discretion; if your dog bites down hard, choose softer toys that will be gentle on its gums.
You should also regularly clean and sterilize chew toys with boiling water (if possible) to minimize the bacteria being transferred to your dog’s mouth from them. If your dog has injured its mouth on a toy, take it away at least until the sore has healed, and offer softer toys instead.
A final factor that determines dental problems is simply genetics. Some dogs are more prone to dental issues than others, just as some people seem to be more susceptible.
Dachshunds, on the whole, are quite vulnerable to dental problems, and you should be vigilant about dental hygiene with your dog. It could save your dachshund a lot of pain and you a lot of vet fees!
Tips For Successfully Cleaning A Dachshund’s Teeth
If you want to clean your dachshund’s teeth (and you should), try to begin when the dog is young. Young dogs are much more adaptable and will adjust to having you handle them and their mouths more quickly.
Brushing is quite an odd sensation for most dogs, and they may struggle to get used to it. Puppies are more receptive to this sort of thing, so this can make the process easier.
However, you shouldn’t decide against brushing because you don’t have a young dog. Even an older dog will benefit from having its teeth cleaned regularly.
Choose a suitable doggy brush and doggy toothpaste. Dogs can’t be taught to spit the toothpaste out, so you need one that is safe for them. Find one they like the taste of, as this will make it much easier to get them on board with brushing.
Start by getting your dog used to your hands being in its mouth, rather than trying to brush the teeth straight away. It may take a couple of weeks for your dog to adjust to the sensation; don’t rush this.
Teeth cleaning needs to be a positive experience, so accompany good behavior with lots of praise and give your dog time to get used to the idea and the feeling. Let them smell and lick the brush, and then, when the brushing time comes, start working gently around where the gums meet the teeth – the most important place.
Cleaning your dachshund’s teeth improves the dog’s breath and reduces their risk of dental diseases. If you are thorough and consistent, you may find that your dog rarely – if ever – needs to see a vet for teeth issues!