The great news is: your greyhound greyhound is most likely to have a great set of teeth. After all, with that well-sized jawline, there’s plenty of room for them to grow and thrive. But just like we humans, our four-legged friends need to clean their teeth regularly.
When you adopt from Greyhounds As Pets your greyhound will have recently had a full scale and polish of their teeth. Any teeth requiring extraction will also be tended to prior to adoption.
It might sound awkward, but the sooner you get your greyhound into the habit of having his teeth cleaned, the easier it’s going to be for both of you.
Five Steps to Doggy Dental Hygiene
Here’s a five-step plan that will get your greyhound used to having his teeth cleaned over time. You’ll find each step easiest when your greyhound is feeling calm, and with a treat at the end of every cleaning session, he’ll soon realise it’s a rewarding exercise!
Don’t feel the need to progress from one step to the next until your greyhound is happy with what you’re doing…
Step 1. Start by gently lifting the sides of your greyhound’s mouth – this will get him used to you touching his gums
Step 2. With your finger wrapped in a soft cloth, gently rub his teeth, mostly working on the outside because this is where the plaque and tartar will build up
Step 3. Use a soft canine toothbrush soaked in warm water to gently brush. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and brush straight up and down, particularly concentrating on where teeth meet the gums.
Step 4. Start using an enzymatic canine toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste!
Step 5. Check your greyhound’s mouth regularly for any signs of decay.
Aside from a regular clean, there are a few other ways to maintain your best friend’s dental health:
- Feed him dry kibble to help scrape off tartar and plaque
- Offer dental treats to remove plaque, massage the gums and promote fresh breath.
- Entertain your greyhound with chew toys, made from nylon, rubber or rawhide, to clean your greyhound’s teeth and massage his gums as he plays
- Treat him with large, raw beef bones to keep him busy, provide nutrition and help with dental maintenance. Be sure to avoid cooked bones, brisket or small bones… and if you have more than one greyhound, make sure you keep an eye on them when they’ve got bones to chew on, just in case they become aggressive as they try to protect their treat.
If you’ve adopted a racing greyhound, you’ll probably need to help him get used to eating or chewing on all of these great foods and products for oral hygiene. That’s because until now, he’s most likely to have been fed raw meat and softened kibble.
It’s also wise to get his teeth checked by a vet just in case there’s any decay.
Why oral hygiene is important
Your greyhound will have 28 teeth as a greyhound and by about the age of six months, these will all have fallen out and been replaced by 42 permanent adult teeth.
Unfortunately, by the time your greyhound is three, without great oral hygiene, there’s a good chance that he’ll show some signs of dental disease. The problems begin with a build-up of tartar and plaque, then gingivitis and inflamed gums. This can cause bad breath and yellow teeth. Sadly, dental disease can lead to far more serious, and even life threatening diseases, including heart, liver, and kidney disease.
When to seek a vet’s help
Be sure to have your greyhound’s teeth checked and cleaned every six to 12 months by a qualified vet.
In between times, check your greyhound’s mouth regularly for signs of oral decay. Bad breath is the most obvious sign of dental disease. Other signs you should regularly look for are:
- Reddened, bleeding or swollen gums
- Crusted yellow-brown tartar build-up on the teeth
- An inability to eat comfortably
- Weight loss
- Fractured, discoloured or missing teeth
- A swollen or misshaped jawline
Helping your greyhound maintain the best oral hygiene may sound like a little bit of work, but it will save you from expensive dental surgery and keep your best friend feeling great and looking good for years to come!