We are all told about the importance of brushing our teeth from an early age. However, many of us forget that the same applies to our dogs.
If you don’t look after the teeth of your dog, unfortunately, you can expect many health issues down the line.
Signs of poor dental hygiene in dogs
There are some signs that could indicate a problem with your dog’s dental health. These include:
• Difficulty or reluctance to eat
• Broken teeth
• Excess salivation
• Bad breath
• Bleeding gums
It is important that these problems are dealt with as soon as possible to prevent further health issues.
Without doubt, the most effective way to look after your dog’s teeth is to brush them. Your pet may be reluctant to having their teeth brushed at first. It normally takes a few weeks for them to get used to brushing but it’s worth it in the long run. If your pet already has a buildup of tartar on their teeth, brushing alone won't be enough, they will require a dental scale & polish. Our vets and nurses will be able to advise you what treatment is best for your pet at any of our practices.
Start by getting some toothpaste specially made for pets – never use toothpaste made for humans as these are not designed to be swallowed and are toxic to dogs. Try gently rubbing the paste around their gums and when they are relaxed about it continue this method for 7-10 days. The next step is to put some of the paste on to a pet toothbrush and let them lick it off.
They might be suspicious of the brush at first so if they walk away be patient and try again the next day. When brushing your pet’s teeth, you should aim to gently brush the outside surfaces of all the teeth to remove plaque.
We would recommend an oral health exam for your pet every 6 to 12months. Dental disease is progressive; it won’t go away without help so will only get worse. That is why taking preventative measures is so important. Contact your local Blythwood branch to book a dental check where we will be able to give tailored advice for your pet.