The Schipperke is a healthy breed of dog that is not known to suffer the unfortunate effects of genetic maladies that other breeds are prone to. This is due largely to the fact that breeders have followed very strict guidelines when it comes to their trade. However, it is not totally unheard of for the Schipperke to experience dental problems due to crooked bites or a build up of tartar at the gumline. Because of this, owners should expect to make dental care a regular part of their care routine. Waiting until the problem is large and out of control can cause the Schipperke a large amount of undue stress and pain.
When choosing a Schipperke, it is important to check the teeth and make sure that their scissorlike bite aligns evenly. Otherwise, an uneven wear and tear on teeth will eventually occur, causing a number of problems; namely it will make it difficult for the dog to eat. While there are many things a canine dentist can do to alleviate such a problem, it can cost an owner thousands in dental bills. When a severe malocclusion is present, regular checks ups will be needed to ensure no unseen problems are developing below the gumline or at the back of the mouth.
To keep tartar from building up at the gum line, owners should use a soft bristled toothbrush for children on their Schipperke's teeth. Tartar will not only kickstart the beginnings of tooth decay, it will give the dog a very bad mouth odor. While extreme tartar build up necessitates a trip to a canine dentist, it can also mean taking a look at the dog's everyday diet. Just like humans, nutrition plays a large part in dental health for dogs. Oftentimes, a poor or inadequate diet is the culprit in excess tartar buildup in Schipperkes. Tablescraps and sugary and salty food should never be fed to the Schipperke.
Ironically, the Schipperke is known for having very sharp teeth; therefore, it is important that owners get their dog used to this weekly ritual from the very beginning. If using the child's toothbrush is too off putting for the Schipperke, some have found that a gauze pad dipped in baking soda and water does just as well. Toothpastes and other like products should not be used as its chemicals can be toxic to the Schipperke's small system. With ongoing dental problems, owners should watch for a loss of appetite or drooling as this indicates a broken tooth or an infection. To keep teeth healthy in general, the Schipperke should be given plenty of chewing toys. A number of these toys are specially designed to help a dog not only work their jaws but reduce tartar and even freshen breath.