hunting dogs and oral health

Hunting dogs and oral health – it’s more important than you think

What is the importance of hunting dogs and oral health?

Long before the era of agriculture, hunting and gathering was the way to feed your family. Since dogs were first domesticated, humans and dogs have worked together as a team to bring home dinner. Today, we may have more choices in where to find our dinner, but for those of us who still appreciate the old ways, having a healthy hunting dog as a companion is truly important.

Working dogs rely on healthy teeth for another important sense

A good canine hunting companion should possess the following skills: receptiveness to training, athleticism and a strong predatory drive. What we don’t always think about is that they also need healthy teeth.

While all dogs need healthy teeth, for working dogs it’s crucial as their oral health directly impacts their sense of smell.

For the uninitiated, there are two common types of hunting dogs:

Scent hounds: This dog depends on his nose to follow prey and makes a lot of noise while carrying out his job. This enables the hunter to follow the trail even when he can’t see his dog. Some scent hounds focus on pursuing prey, while others "tree" their prey by chasing it up a tree and waiting at the base for the hunters to arrive. 

Gun dogs: These dogs hunt birds and smaller animals like rabbits and are also known as bird dogs. Gun dogs are used to locate prey and flush it out from the underbrush for the hunter to shoot. The dog then usually retrieves the prey for the hunter.

Gauging from their job descriptions, it’s easy to see why keeping their sense of smell in tiptop form is of paramount importance.

Hidden dental issues create the biggest problems

Most dogs will have some tartar buildup over their lifetimes but if left unattended it can create some more serious issues. The tartar buildup we can see, is one thing, but it’s the tartar, or calculus that hides under the gum line that can cause more significant issues. It’s the hidden tartar that creates gingivitis that causes inflammation, abscesses and the general decline of oral health. These issues can create problems with your dog’s all-important sense of smell. From there, gingivitis progresses to periodontal disease which can cause the loss of teeth, oral pain and other serious health issues created by the bacteria associated with periodontal disease.

What to look for

You care about their nutrition, their exercise and their grooming – it’s also critical that their oral health is properly monitored and maintained.

These are some of the signs of declining dental health:

  • Bad breath, aka dog breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth

A better solution

When the above stages have been hit, it means your dog is already well on his way to having oral health issues. A better plan than trying to monitor his mouth yourself is making sure he is regularly examined by your vet so potential issues are managed before they become more serious.

After your dog’s teeth are given a good cleaning, you can help keep them in good shape by using Petosan dental products. A hunting dog is only as good as his nose! And as he’s also your companion, looking out for his oral health matters as much as everything else you would naturally do for him.

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