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Chinese Crested and Dental Issues

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Tags: Chinese Crested, Health, Health Problems, Dental Problems

Male And Female Shih Tzu Puppies



Edmond, OK

Shih Tzu

Perhaps the most important concern in helping a Chinese Crested puppy to develop into a physically healthy adult dog would be dental health. As is sometimes the case with toy breeds, the Chinese Crested is especially prone to irregular bite patterns, missing teeth and gum disease. Missing teeth, in particular, are so commonly found in the Chinese Crested dog that they are not even penalized in show. For these reasons, it is absolutely imperative that the Chinese Crested be fed with small, regular meals and given food with a softer, flakier consistency than most breeds demand. Hard, dry dog food might lead to broken teeth, if the dog even proves capable of chewing it in the first place. Remember that one of the breed's defining physical characteristics is their sensitivity. Their digestion, skin, frame and even temperament are all of the sensitive disposition and their teeth are certainly far from being an exception.

An owner of any dog, but especially the Chinese Crested, is advised to take their pet to the veterinarian's office for regular dental checkups to make sure that everything possible is being done to assure proper dental growth and health. However, as much attention as the dog might receive to this end, there is always the possibility for genetic, inherited problems that just might not be preventable. Most prominent amongst these is probably the possibility that the dog might develop a minor or severe under bite. This, of course, might not bother the owner, or the dog, all that much. As long as they've been receiving soft food, this development will not require any change in diet and could even lend the dog an appealing tough dog appearance, especially if accompanied by the somewhat punkish look inherent to the Hairless variety.

Regular brushing is advised to cleanse the mouth, teeth and tongue of bacteria as well as to exercise the gums. Brushing the gums keeps the blood flow regular, leading to better tooth development. Since the dog won't (or shouldn't) be eating hard food, the majority of their gum exercise will consist of brushing, so this is a must. Preventing bacterial growth isn't just to prevent dog breath, by the way. Bacterial growths can actually lead to blood, lung, liver and heart disease. Remember that anything found in the mouth will wind up in the blood sooner or later, so oral cleanliness is pretty important for overall health in all mammals, so dogs are no exception.

And finally, even though it probably goes without saying, the need for readily available, fresh water cannot be overstated. Keeping the mouth and body well hydrated is of vital importance in a dog's dental and overall health. It's vital that this water be clean and regularly refilled. Water that is stagnant or unclean might lead to more problems than it solves, inviting disease and bacteria into the dog's system.

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