Dental Health in Dogs

DogsPart of good dog care includes regular dental cleaning and self exams.  Your puppy will be healthier and experience less oral pain if you regularly care for his or her teeth.  Here are a few suggestions to help keep your pet’s teeth healthy.

Inspect Your Pet’s Teeth and Gums

You should get into the habit of checking your dog’s teeth and gums often.  The gums should be pink and not white, red or swollen.  If you notice bleeding, missing teeth or a foul smell, you should pay attention, your pet may need some dental care.

Dry Food And Chew Toys

Consider feeding your dog dry food instead of wet foods.  Wet foods stick to the gums and can harbor bacteria that can cause tooth decay or infections.

Chew toys are a great way to keep your dog from getting bored but they also help your dog’s teeth stay clean.  Some toys are designed with dental hygiene in mind.

Brush Regularly

Dogs should have their teeth brushed twice a week.  You will want to start out slowly using your finger.  Rub or massage your dog or puppy’s teeth with your finger once or twice a day to get them used to it.  Once they are ok with your touching their teeth add some puppy toothpaste.  When they are used to that and like it, you can begin using a toothbrush made for dogs or a piece of gauze on your finger.

Brush the teeth at a 45-degree angle. Use small circular motions and only do a small area of the teeth at once.  Try to keep this a fun time for your pet.  You don’t want to scare them or cause them any pain.

Get Dental Checkups and Cleanings

People are not the only ones who need regular dental exam and dental cleanings.  Dogs get some of the same diseases of the teeth people do.  Over 75% of dogs will develop periodontal disease.  Some breeds are more prone to dental decay than others.  Your veterinarian will be able to examine the health of your dog’s teeth during a regular exam or dental exam.  They can remove built-up plaque and tartar by doing a dental cleaning for dogs.  They can also treat any infections that your pet may have.

Signs of Mouth or Gastrointestinal Problems

If you notice bad breath, excessive drooling, inflamed gums, tumors in the gums, cysts under the tongue or loose teeth, you should have your pet examined by your veterinarian.  These are all signs of a problem that needs to be taken care of.  Your pet’s health and quality of life depend on it. 

If you have any questions about your dog’s dental health or you would like to schedule a dental exam, please call Advanced Animal Care today!