Caring for Your Dog’s Teeth

Does your dog have bad breath? While Man’s Best Friend isn’t exactly renowned for having minty-fresh breath, your pet’s affectionate doggy kisses shouldn’t make you cringe, either. Bad breath is actually one of the most common signs of dental problems in our canine companions. In this article, a Milwaukie, OR veterinarian offers some advice on caring for your dog’s teeth.

Signs of Dental Trouble

As mentioned above, bad breath is a common symptom of canine dental problems. Some other red flags include excessive salivation; bloody or ropy drool; lack of interest in toys or chewing; visible tartar buildup; bleeding gums; and swelling. Contact your vet immediately if your dog has any of these symptoms.

Common Dental Troubles

Dogs can have many of the same dental issues that people can develop. Gum disease is a very common one. By some estimates, over 80 percent of adult dogs have this dangerous disease. Other common canine dental issues include abscesses; infections; and cracked, broken, loose, or misaligned teeth.

Veterinary Care

Dogs should have their teeth checked at least once a year. If your pet has a specific dental issue, your vet will discuss treatment options after properly diagnosing the problem. Sometimes a good deep cleaning is all that is required. In other cases, dogs may need extractions or other procedures. It’s worth noting that cosmetic issues are generally not a concern when it comes to treating dental trouble in dogs. Your pooch probably won’t mind if his smile isn’t perfect! Issues that can cause pain or lead to other health problems are the main focus.

Home Care

There are some things you can do at home to keep your dog’s teeth healthy. Brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the most beneficial ones. To get your dog used to the process, start by just rubbing his teeth and gums with your finger. If your pet accepts this, you can add toothpaste, and then, finally, move on to using a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste. If your dog isn’t having it, ask your vet for recommendations on using dental chews, treats, or kibble, which can also be beneficial. Making sure your pooch always has fresh water and suitable chew toys is also important.

Do you think your dog may have dental trouble? Call us, your Milwaukie, OR animal hospital! We are here to serve all your pet’s veterinary care needs.

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