Perfect teeth for perfect show dogs

Here are some helpful tips from our partners in pet nutrition - Eukanuba on how to take care of your show dog's teeth.

Beautiful and healthy

Presenting valuable show dogs at national or international Kennel Club meetings or Dog Shows is a full-time job: not only must the four-legged candidates be healthy, in top-shape and perfect  form - also cosmetical aspects play an important role to win the Show and be a champion!

But who looks into the mouth?

Very often the judges inspect the oral cavity very meticulously, because a healthy, clean and correctly developed dentition and skull is a paramount part of the general appearance and status of any candidate. Skull, alveolar bones and dentition have to match the breed "Standard" of every registered breed. Missing or discoloured teeth, covered with slimy unhygienic masses or unpleasant odour from the mouth would not be a favorable precondition for a successful  presentation.

As always - prevention is better than cure

Only approximately 10% of pet dogs receive daily oral hygiene, this means that many dogs suffer from a very poor condition in their mouth, continuous active infection, associated with permanent pain, finally loss of function due to lost teeth and or even organ infection. Regular tooth brushing, appropriate nutrition, systematical controls and health checks at the veterinarians are of paramount importance. For every showdog, daily tooth-brushing with special toothbrushes and tooth-pastes is highly recommended. Never use human tooth-pastes, they are not only badly accepted by dogs but also contain ingredients, which can damage the gums. If discolorations are detected, tartar-build up or halitosis is present, the veterinarian should be contacted.

Bad teeth - bad ranking

Not too long before important shows, the dog should be seen by a vet and - if necessary - get a complete dental check and prophylaxis, which means a thorough cleaning and removal of all soft biofilms (Plaque) and hard mineralized debris on the dental surfaces (Tartar, calculus). The teeth should be polished after cleaning to avoid rough dental surfaces after the procedures, which would allow new plaque to recolonize again very quickly, making repeated procedures necessary year after year. Dental plaque is highly pathogenic and the primary cause of both gingivitis and periodontitis or even tooth loss. In addition these aggressive plaque bacteria can enter the blood stream and be spread across the whole body, which may cause septicaemia and organ disease.

The role of nutrition

Foods which encourage plaque build-up should be avoided. This includes snacks between meals, high carbohydrate foods such as table scraps, sweets and others unnatural food for dogs. Feeding specially formulated nutrition (specific dental diets, diets with an included dental benefit across the range, dental chewing sticks) is an additional effective way to reduce the amount of plaque in the oral cavity.

My recommendation:

a) Regular professional check ups and cleanings at your vet, once or twice a year
b) Daily tooth brushing and chewing toys
c) Feeding a diet that reduces plaque and tartar build-up, like Eukanuba


More information

Copyright © The Kennel Club Limited 2017. The unauthorised reproduction of text and images is strictly prohibited.