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All dogs can have dental problems, but chihuahuas are more likely than many other breeds to have trouble with their teeth.
In fact, periodontal issues are the top health problem for chihuahuas, according to a vet professor at the University of Illinois. Like other toy dogs, chihuahuas are more likely to have serious cases of periodontal disease than larger breeds
🐶 Why do chihuahuas have more dental issues?
Chihuahuas have small heads, which means their teeth can get crowded. Just like in their humans, that tooth crowding can lead to plaque that’s tricky to remove.
Over time, plaque that isn’t removed becomes tartar – and that buildup can cause dental problems like pain and infections.
🧑⚕️ What is the risk of tooth problems?
If your chihuahua's dental issues aren’t treated, they can lead to problems ranging from painful but treatable to serious – even life threatening!
Plaque, tartar, and gingivitis – aka bad breath – are signs your chihuahua’s dental health isn’t as good as it could be. Over time, the bacteria related to these problems can get into your pup’s bones, which can lead to tissue destruction. Bacteria can also get into your dog’s bloodstream, causing serious health problems.
Over time, dental problems can lead to more serious conditions, including damage to your pup’s joints, kidneys, liver, or even heart. Untreated tooth issues can cause both a shorter and a worse quality of life for your dog – something no pet parent wants.
🪥 What can I do to prevent dental problems for my dog?
Not all dental problems can be avoided – some of them come down to genetics. But starting dental care for your dog early can help prevent or delay issues.
Begin brushing your chihuahua’s teeth from a young age, if they join your family as a puppy, or when you bring home an older pup. Give your dog chew toys that are the right size for their small mouth, to help prevent buildup on their teeth. And talk with your vet about a good schedule for professional teeth cleaning for your chihuahua.
Choosing a healthy diet for your dog also supports good dental health. High quality foods with a good balance of proteins and fats to carbohydrates, like healthybud’s Beef Meal Patties, prevent plaque buildup caused by sugars and starches. If possible, opt for fresh or freeze-dried food over dry, highly-processed kibble: the unnaturally high carbohydrate and starch based diet of many dry products attracts plaque and tartar to stick. Carbs & starches convert to sugars when combined with saliva and this starchy, sugary debris left stuck between the teeth & gums harbours bacteria which decays and leaves a build up of tartar on the teeth.
When it comes to your chihuahua’s good dental health, there’s some evidence that antioxidants can help them thrive as they have anti-inflammatory properties. Look for antioxidant-rich ingredients like blueberries and dried kelp, which are included in healthybud’s Turkey Meal Bites.
And essential fatty acids can help your pup’s teeth and gums stay healthy by preventing inflammation – try a treat like healthybud’s Cod Skins, which can be broken into pieces for small dogs.
😬 What are the signs my chihuahua’s teeth need treatment?
Another important way to help your chihuahua’s teeth stay healthy is to watch for signs of a problem so you can treat it quickly.
Symptoms of dental issues for dogs include:
- A foul smell in or from their mouth.
- Red and/or swollen gums.
- Loose and/or wiggly teeth.
- Blood in your dog’s mouth or on their chew toys.
- Buildup on their teeth that doesn’t come off with brushing.
- Inflamed molars (under your dog’s eyes, inside their mouth).
- Signs of mouth pain, like dropping food or pulling away when touched.
As your chihuahua gets older, dental issues become more likely. That makes it even more important to stay on top of brushing and checkups as your dog gets older!
Chihuahuas are one of the longest-living dog breeds! These small-but-mighty pups have an average life span of 13-15 years.
Stay healthy, stay happy, stay curious #healthygang!
Lots of love,
- The healthybud team
DISCLAIMER: The information presented here is not meant to replace your vet’s advice or prescribed medications, but only to suggest additional options to explore, based on your dog’s condition.Support your best bud’s health with high quality, healthy foods and treats you will both feel great about. Visit the healthybud website now to learn more about our products and subscription options.