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10 Tips for Dental Health in Dogs

If you’re like most pet owners, you want to take the best possible care of your dog. And that includes maintaining a lifetime of good oral health.

If you need help figuring out where to start with dental health in dogs, keep reading for tips on everything from reducing bad breath to when to schedule a dental cleaning with your veterinarian.

Importance Of Dental Care For Dogs

Like humans, oral health plays a critical role in your pet’s wellness. Below are just a few reasons to keep healthy teeth for your dog a top priority.

Bad Breath

You may think that bad breath is a normal part of having a pet, but often, that smell is an indication of health issues like plaque buildup, bacteria buildup, and other dental conditions that can cause problems for your pet.

Bad breath is one of the common signs that something may be going on in your pet’s mouth, so if you want to enjoy those doggy kisses (without the doggy breath) and keep your pet healthy, regular dental care is a great way to start.

Organ Damage

Did you know that bacteria from buildup on teeth (and diseased teeth) can enter your pet’s bloodstream? This reality is a major reason why maintaining daily teeth health is essential.

If bacteria and infection spread through your dog’s body, it can lead to severe organ damage and even contribute to or cause heart, liver, and kidney disease. Keep your dog’s mouth healthy, and you’ll play a meaningful role in their overall wellness.

Prevent Pain

If you’ve ever had a toothache or infected tooth (or worse, a root canal), you know how uncomfortable it can be. Chronic pain from broken teeth and gum disease can significantly impact your pet’s quality of life, from activity level to being able to enjoy and eat their normal dry food.

If it’s been a while since your pet has seen a veterinarian for a dental exam, ask about it at your dog’s next appointment. Don’t wait for what could be solved with a simple cleaning to turn into a major infection or health concern.

Prevent Tooth Loss

Oral disease in dogs can often cause tooth loss, as can injury or trauma. If your dog has started losing adult teeth, it’s a good reason to check with your vet.

Daily brushing, dental treats, and routine cleanings are the best ways to prevent tooth loss that can cause pain and challenges for pets on dry food diets.

Avoid Periodontal Disease

Periodontist bacteria can enter your dog’s oral cavities leading to chronic pain, tooth loss, and infection that can spread throughout the body. The best solution is the prevention of Dental Disease with routine care that will keep your pet’s mouth, teeth, and gums healthy.

Brushing your dog’s teeth with pet toothpaste, using dental chews and chew toys, and scheduling frequent cleanings are some of the best ways to help keep your pet’s mouth clean.

Properly Caring for Your Dog’s Teeth

Maintaining a healthy mouth for your dog is a top priority, so what can you do to avoid dental health issues? The two best ways are to maintain routine dental care at home and schedule a professional cleaning with your veterinarian annually or as recommended. 

Dental Care at Home

Keeping your pet’s teeth and gums healthy is possible with routine care at home. Start with regular brushings, using pet toothpaste (never human toothpaste, which can be unsafe for your dog). A dry food dental diet and dental chews are additional ways to help keep teeth clean and avoid tartar buildup (and keep your pet happy!).

Professional Dental Care

Even with the best of intentions and a daily cleaning regime, dental care at home is best supported by professional cleaning techniques at your local veterinarian’s office. This is especially true as your dog ages and has an increased risk for Dental Disease. A veterinarian will use general anesthesia (as with other routine surgeries) to allow for deep cleaning to remove tartar buildup, investigate any concerns, and, if necessary, remove any broken or loose teeth.

Contact Metrovet if you have questions or want to schedule a dental cleaning for your dog with one of our expert veterinarians.

Frequently Asked Questions

What dog breeds have teeth problems?

While any dog can experience Periodontal Disease, smaller dog breeds like Pugs, Yorkies, Shih Tzus, and Chihuahuas are more prone to dental problems.

Some large dog breeds are affected by overgrown gums (which can cause food particles to get stuck and increase tartar buildup). These large breeds include Great Danes, Mastiffs, and Boxers.

What food is best for a dog’s teeth?

The best food for a dog’s teeth is one that contains quality ingredients made from fruits, vegetables, and meats. Dental foods should be supported with the same type of treats and can include fresh options like apple and carrot slices.

Do carrots clean dogs’ teeth?

Raw carrots can make great dog treats thanks to their low-calorie content and denseness, creating a solid crunch and effectively removing tartar from teeth. Like any treat, use carrots as only a portion of your pet’s overall diet. And depending on your dog’s size, cut up the carrots so your dog can safely enjoy their low-calorie chew.

What are the signs of dental problems in dogs?

If you notice signs of dental problems in your pet, talk to your veterinarian about an exam as soon as possible. The most common symptoms include a decreased interest in dry food or treats, dropping food while eating, and sensitivity or aggression when touched near the mouth. 

Excessive drooling and pawing at their mouth are other signs that your dog may be experiencing pain. Don’t wait if you suspect dental problems, as they can become more severe and lead to disease if left untreated.

Metrovet For Your Pet’s Dental Health

If your pet needs a routine dental examination or emergency care, the team at Metrovet can help. Click here or contact us to schedule an appointment or ask questions about how to best maintain your pet’s dental or overall health.

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