Did you know that 80 percent of dogs over aged three have dental disease? This is a very serious issue for Man’s Best Friend! Dental problems are just as painful and problematic for dogs as they are for people. Doggy dental woes can really affect your pet’s health and well-being, not to mention his overall quality of life. Here, a York, PA vet discusses caring for Fido’s choppers.
Watch For Warning Signs
Fido can’t tell you if his teeth hurt, so it’s important for you to watch for warning signs. Some common ones include bad breath, visible tartar buildup, swelling, shying, reduced interest in play, and bloody smears on toys and dishes. Some dogs will act grumpy or withdrawn if their teeth hurt. Dental troubles can also cause your pooch to dribble food, take longer eating, start preferring softer foods, or, in severe cases, stop eating altogether.
Just like people, dogs benefit from regular dental exams. We recommend having Fido’s choppers checked at least once a year, starting at age one.
Brushing is one of the best things you can do to keep Fido’s teeth healthy. Of course, your dog will need to get used to the idea. Start by gently massaging his teeth and gums with your finger. Work in lots of praise and cuddles, and offer your pup a yummy treat afterwards. This will help him form a ‘pawsitive’ association with the process. Slowly start incorporating pet toothpaste and a doggy toothbrush.
Doggy Dental Products
If Fido won’t let you brush his teeth, ask your vet about other options, such as dental flakes, dental-formula treats and chews, and oral rinses. These will all fight plaque and tartar, and can help keep your pup’s teeth healthy.
Keeping Fido hydrated is of course important for many reasons. However, it’s absolutely crucial for his dental health. Be sure to clean your dog’s bowls daily, as otherwise they’ll quickly gather dust and grime.
Chew toys aren’t just fun for dogs: they’re also good for their teeth and jaws. Chewing helps keep your furry buddy’s jaw muscles strong. It also stimulates the flow of saliva, which will help keep his mouth clean. (Bonus: it also keeps Fido occupied and out of mischief.)
Please contact us, your York, PA vet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!