Border Collies are a unique breed of dog known for their intelligence, athleticism, and herding abilities.
However, when it comes to their oral health, these dogs are just like any other dog breed and having proper dental care is essential to their overall health and well-being.
It’s a non negotiable. Neglecting their teeth and gums can lead to a host of health issues, including gingivitis and periodontitis, loss of teeth and even mouth tumors and cancers.
In this article about Border Collie teeth health, we’ll be looking at some good practices, the basics of good teeth health in dogs, tips to keep in mind, and much more.
Understanding Border Collie Teeth
As a responsible Border Collie owner, the basics of teeth health in dogs, begins with understanding the growth and development of your dog’s teeth as well as their normal sizes.
An adult Border Collie should have 42 teeth, which are divided into 20 teeth on the top and 22 teeth on the bottom of the jaw.
- Four incisors.
- Two canines.
- Eight bicuspids.
- Two premolars.
- And six molars.
Growth and Development
Border Collie puppies are born without teeth, but they begin to develop baby teeth at around 3 to 4 weeks of age.
These baby teeth, also known as deciduous teeth, fall out and are replaced by adult teeth between the ages of 4 to 6 months.
It’s important to note that during the teething phase, your Border Collie may experience discomfort and pain, so providing them with chew toys and bones can help alleviate this discomfort and also aid in the development of strong teeth and jaws.
Normal Teeth Size
The size of your Border Collie’s teeth can vary depending on their age and gender, but for the most part, female Border Collies tend to have slightly smaller teeth than males.
It’s important to note that any abnormal growth or size of teeth should be brought to the attention of a veterinarian and regular brushing is crucial to prevent plaque buildup and gum disease.
It’s recommended to brush your Border Collie’s teeth at least twice a week with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste.
At the end of the day, understanding the growth and development of your Border Collie’s teeth as well as their normal size is crucial for maintaining their overall dental health over the long haul.
Providing proper dental care and attention can help prevent dental issues and ensure your Border Collie has a healthy and happy smile.
Importance of Dental Health
As we mentioned before (and which should be of shock to absolutely nobody) dental health is an essential aspect of a Border Collie’s overall health and wellbeing.
- Neglecting your dog’s teeth can lead to various dental problems, which we’ll be mentioning later, such as gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth decay.
- Dental diseases can cause your pet pain, discomfort, but can also affect their internal organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.
- Regular dental check-ups with a vet are necessary to ensure your Border Collie’s teeth are healthy. During these check-ups, the vet will examine your dog’s teeth and gums, check for any signs of plaque, tartar, or gum disease, and recommend appropriate dental care routines.
Cleaning your Border Collie’s teeth regularly is crucial in maintaining their dental health, so brushing your dog’s teeth with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste can help remove plaque and prevent the buildup of tartar.
You can also use dental chews and toys to help keep your pet’s teeth clean, and you can even feed your dog a high-quality homemade diet can help keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Common Dental Issues in Border Collies
Border Collies are generally healthy and hardy dogs, but like any other breed, they are prone to certain health issues, including dental problems especially if they’re not eating the food they should be eating or if they’re not getting regular checkups.
Here are some of the most common dental issues that Border Collies may face:
Gingivitis and periodontitis: These are the most common dental problems in dogs, and Border Collies are no exception. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth. If left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, which is a more serious form of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss and other health issues.
Tooth decay and cavities: Border Collies can develop cavities just like humans. This can happen when food particles and bacteria accumulate on the teeth and form a sticky film called plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
Broken or fractured teeth: Border Collies are active and energetic dogs, and they may sometimes break or fracture their teeth while playing or chewing on hard objects. This can cause pain and discomfort as well as infections, which may require veterinary treatment.
Oral tumors: While oral tumors are relatively rare in dogs, they can occur in Border Collies. These tumors can be benign or malignant and may require surgery or other treatments.
Many dental problems in Border Collies and other dogs in general, can be prevented with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the vet.
Regular brushing, dental cleanings, and a healthy diet can all help keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy for a long time.
With that said, if you notice any signs of dental issues, such as red or rough gums, bad breath, or bleeding, be sure to consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Maintaining Dental Health
Proper dental care is crucial for the overall health and well-being of your Border Collie, and neglecting their teeth can lead to dental disease, which can cause pain, discomfort, and even lead to more serious health issues.
In this section, we will discuss some effective ways to maintain your Border Collie’s dental health.
Brushing Your Border Collie’s Teeth
Brushing your Border Collie’s teeth is one of the most effective ways to prevent dental disease.
If your dog is eating healthy food that fits into its diet, in most cases you’ll not ever need to brush their teeth, but if you want to take special care of its teeth, then of course brushing is something you’ll want to take into consideration
Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth at least twice a week with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste.
Start slowly and reward your dog with treats to make the experience positive. Over time, your Border Collie will become accustomed to the routine.
Providing Clean Water
Make sure your Border Collie has access to clean, fresh water at all times.
This is not only important for their overall health, but it also helps to rinse their mouth and remove any food particles that may be stuck between their teeth.
Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs and both chewing and drooling can help to keep their teeth clean and lubricated.
Even though excessive drooling in Border Collies is usually not what we want, some drooling when chewing on toys, such as bones or dental chews, help remove plaque and tartar buildup, and help keep the teeth clean.
Not Eating Sugary Food
To maintain a dog’s dental health, it’s crucial to avoid feeding them certain foods that can be harmful to their teeth.
Sugary or sticky treats, can promote plaque buildup and lead to cavities and acidic fruits like citrus or grapes should be kept away too, as they can erode enamel over time.
Also, try to keep them away from any human food that contains garlic, onions, or xylitol, as they are toxic to dogs and can damage their teeth and overall health.
Lastly, steer clear of high-carbohydrate snacks or treats with excessive additives, which can contribute to bacterial growth in the mouth and potentially lead to dental problems.
Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are essential for maintaining your Border Collie’s dental health.
Your vet can identify any potential dental issues and provide appropriate treatment before they become more serious.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent dental disease and ensure that your pup has a happy and healthy smile.
Dental Health and Border Collie’s Age
As your pup ages, their dental needs will change, and it’s essential to adapt your dental care routine accordingly.
When it comes to puppies, it’s important to start dental care early.
You can begin by introducing your Border Collie puppy to the sensation of having their teeth brushed.
You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush and dog toothpaste to brush their teeth gently.
At this stage, it’s recommended to brush your dog’s teeth once a day to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar.
The importance of this phase of their life, with respect to their teeth health is obvious. The earlier you start getting them used to brushing their teeth, the easier it’ll be as time goes on.
Border Collie Puppies and 6 Months
By the time your Border Collie puppy reaches six months of age, they will have all of their adult teeth.
This is the perfect time to start to schedule a dental checkup with your veterinarian.
Your vet will examine your Border Collie’s teeth and gums to ensure that everything is developing correctly.
They may also recommend a professional cleaning if necessary.
Adult Border Collies
At this stage, you’ll want to do a combination of both regular brushing, and scheduled checkups with your veterinarian with the occasional chew toys if you wish.
The visits to the veterinarian, should ideally be every six to twelve months.
Additionally, dental toys, specifically designed to promote dental health, can play a valuable role in reducing plaque and massaging the gums at this stage.
Chew toys, dental sticks, and interactive toys that encourage chewing can help keep the Border Collie’s teeth clean and strong.
Dental Health Throughout Their Lifespan
Border Collies have a lifespan of around 12-15 years. As your furry friend ages, their dental health will become even more critical.
Older Border Collies may require more frequent dental checkups and cleanings to ensure that their teeth and gums remain healthy.
Chew toys might still be used at this point in time, but will depend on each dog.
In summary, dental health is an essential aspect of your Border Collie’s overall well-being.
Starting dental care early, scheduling regular checkups, and adapting your dental care routine as your Border Collie ages can help ensure that they maintain healthy teeth and gums throughout their life.
General Care for Border Collies
As we mentioned before, Border Collies are a high-energy somewhat high maintenance breed that requires a lot of exercise and attention to live a happy and fulfilled life.
Some general care tips to have your Border Collies be at its best include:
Regular Vet Check-Ups
It’s important to take your Border Collie to the vet for regular check-ups.
Your vet can also provide advice on diet, exercise, and other aspects of care specific to your dog.
Exercise and Walks
Border Collies are a breed that needs plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy.
They are highly intelligent and active dogs that need both physical and mental stimulation.
Daily walks and playtime are essential to keeping them happy and healthy.
Socialization with Children and Other Dogs
Border Collies are generally good with children and other dogs when properly socialized.
Early socialization is absolutely crucial to ensure that they develop good social skills and are comfortable around other people and animals.
A lack of proper socializing early on, can lead to the dog feeling ostracized and alone, which is never good for pack animals.
Border Collies have a thick double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and shiny.
Brushing and bathing are essential to remove dirt and debris and prevent matting.
Regular nail trimming and teeth brushing are also important for overall health.
Choosing a Breeder
When looking for a Border Collie, it’s important to choose a reputable breeder who breeds for health and temperament.
A good breeder will provide you with information about the breed and the specific dog you’re interested in, as well as any health issues that may be common in the breed.
Scars and Wear and Tear
Border Collies are a working breed and may develop scars or wear and tear from their activities.
It’s important to keep an eye on any injuries or issues and seek veterinary care if necessary.
Overall, taking good care of your Border Collie requires regular exercise, grooming, and veterinary check-ups.
With proper care, your Border Collie can be a happy and healthy companion for years to come.