Most Xolo dog parents do their best to keep their dogs in good shape. They watch their nutrition, make sure to exercise daily, and take them to the vet every now and then for health checkups. But many overlook the oral care of their dog, in part to the conventional wisdom that “dogs do not need dental care – their mouth is cleaner than humans.”
This belief is quite mistaken because dogs can suffer from plaque and tartar buildup. These conditions can also provoke liver, heart, and kidney disease. Every dogneeds dental care, but in the case of Xolo, particularly the Hairless variety, regular dental care is essential.
If you want to know why Xolo dental care is different? What are the oral health recommendations for Xolo? And how to select good/safe/natural Xolo dental care products, read this article to the end.
Why is dental care of Xolo different from other dogs?
Hairless Xolos require special attention associated with their teeth.
The gene associated with hairlessness can cause dental abnormalities. Common dental problems that the Hairless Xolo can suffer from are the absence of teeth, commonly canines, incisors, molars, and premolars.
According to research published in the Journal of Veterinary Dermatology, some Xolos may lose almost half of their teeth, while in other Xolos the teeth might be malformed, discolored, and misplaced. However, these abnormalities do not affect the ability to chew and eat and, furthermore, this condition is not always faulted in dog shows.
Vets typically recommend brushing your dog’s teeth once a week. In the case of Xolos, it’s helpful to inspect and perhaps clean your Xolo teeth more frequently; it greatly depends on your individual dog.
Oral health of the Xolo
First of all, you need to know what your normal Xolo mouth should look like before learning about dental care tips. (We’ll more fully cover the Xolo’s dental structure in a separate article.)
Food particles and microbes amass along your canine’s gum line and may form a layer of plaque. Periodontal illnesses influence not only your canine’s mouth but can transfer microscopic organisms into the circulatory system, impacting overall health and possibly causing digestive or other ailments.
Therefore, your dog’s teeth should be clean and free of any type of tartar or plaque, and the tongue should be pink and wet without any cuts or bumps. Normal gums are usually pink or black, so an unusual color change is a sign of a dental or periodontal problem.
Yes, a Xolo needs additional dental care and attention due to its genetics. Here we explain some oral care tips to keep your adorable Xolo healthy and happy.
Brushing teeth regularly
Brushing is very important for the overall dental health of Xolo. When you brush your Xolo teeth with a dog toothbrush, you are actually using soft, calibrated mechanical action to remove bacteria, food, or plaque with the toothbrush’s bristles. This procedure removes plaque before it hardens and calcifies to become tarter.
You should always choose a dog-specific toothbrush for effective cleaning because they are designed according to your dog’s needs. Do not use any type of adult nor a child toothbrush designed for an human.
You cannot use human toothpaste while brushing Xolo teeth as these can be toxic due to the presence of fluoride and detergents.
Toothpaste for dogs can work with the toothbrush simultaneously, as they provide tooth cleaning by enzymatic action. Sometimes your dog may not like the taste of toothpaste, but different flavored toothpaste are available too, which helps Xolo get used to it.
- Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste: #1 in Dog Toothpaste with over 18,000 positive reviews.
- Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Peanut Flavored Natural Dog Toothpaste 2.5oz Tubes (3 Pack): Natural peanut-flavored toothpaste encourages your pet’s acceptance – 4-½ stars!
Regarding natural ingredients such as Neem oil in the highly-recommended Vet’s Best toothpaste, “Neem oil is not listed as a toxic plant product for cats or dogs as per the ASPCA Poison Control Center or Pet Poison Helpline, yet I always recommend cautious use with all dogs and cats under the guidelines of the pet’s primary veterinarian.”, says Dr. Patrick Mahaney, veterinarian and owner of Los Angeles-based California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness.
As a technique, you will need to manually open your Xolo’s mouth, inserting a the toothbrush or a finger and then slowly and softly move the toothbrush with toothpaste. To ensure complete cleaning, start at one side of the back of the mouth, brushing the upper teeth from top to bottom, then repeating on the other, upper side of the mouth. Then, begin on the lower set of teeth, starting at the back and brushing from bottom to top and ending toward the front of the mouth.
- RADIUS USDA Organic Dental Solutions Puppy Kit – includes 1 ultra-soft bristle toothbrush and 1 tube of non-toxic toothpaste.
- PenVinoo Dog Finger Toothbrushes – finger coverings plus long-stemmed brushes both colorful and practical!
The trick is to do this habitually to help your dog reduce its resistance to dental cleaning over time. Oh, and reward your Xolo for good behavior with high-quality treats!
Use of dental wipes
If your Xolo is not comfortable with brushing teeth or if you are training him to get used to teeth cleaning, you can use dental wipes.
Dental wipes help remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria from Xolo teeth. Still, the level of cleanliness like brushing is not possible. Some cracks and small corners cannot be cleaned with dental wipes. Nonetheless, it is a better way to clean your dog teeth than doing nothing.
Dental treats and food options
Diet and treats have a huge impact on a dog’s dental health. You should always feed them high-quality dogfood. Keep one thing in mind: a quality diet won’t avoid the need to clean the teeth of your Xolo.
Different types of treats specially created for dental care can also help reduce plaque and improve oral cleanliness. Based on your Xolo type and variety as well your dog’s individual preferences, there are many options available in different shapes, flavors, and sizes.
Dog chews and bone toys
Dog chews and bone toys play an important role in keeping teeth strong and removing tartar buildup. Xolo’s preferences are different for chews, as they mostly prefer raw vegetables or fruit chews compared to rawhide chews.
While choosing, always remember the chew or bone toy should be safe for your pet. Hard toys can break the vulnerable Xolo teeth!
- Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste Dental Chews – easily digestible gluten free dental chew; also available for various dog sizes
- Breath Bites by Pet Naturals of Vermont – includes mushroom extract, extensively studied for its ability to suppress odor causing toxins in the intestines, and cinnamon for a healthy bacterial balance in the mouth.
- Nutri-Vet Dental Health Soft Chews – natural smoke flavored soft chews decrease plaque, gingivitis and certain types of bacteria that cause periodontal disease while CoQ10 provides gum support & periodontal protection.
Again, chews can help oral hygiene but you cannot rely solely on chews or toys for cleaning your dog teeth.
Professional Dental Cleaning
If you are taking good care of your Xolo teeth, they still may benefit from a professional dental cleaning; consider it as part of a regular checkup at least twice a year, even if you do it less frequently. Professional dental cleaning requires anesthesia as part of a detailed dental exam by a qualified veterinarian.
The veterinary checkup is a must because sometimes you may not be able to diagnose the problem. If your Xolo is diagnosed with any periodontal disease or dental problem, treatment can be started to avoid pain or complications.
How to select good/safe/natural dental care products for Xolo?
There are a variety of dental care products available for dogs in the market. When choosing for Xolo, you should consider these factors such as:
- Specially made for a dog (prefer if breed-specific)
- Safety (approved for pets)
- Good flavor (ingredients & pet preference)
- Xolo receptivity (acceptance by your pet)
- Natural ingredients (check the label!)
Some caution is needed: “natural” is not necessarily synonymous with “safe” for any product. In the case of toothpastes, check with your vet if you have any doubt about indications or contra-indications for ingredients.
Xolos have unique consideration for oral health and therefore require special dental attention and care. Xolos may have a deficient set of teeth or lose their teeth due to genetics, yet you must maintain their dental hygiene as part of overall pet care. Choose dental care products based on your dog dietary needs, oral health conditions, and pet preferences.
Photo: © 2008 Alfredo & Sara Aguirre – Flickr