Dogs are very devoted to their humans. Fido has some pretty adorable ways of showing his love, such as tail wags, happy dances, and, of course, kisses. However, if your pet’s affectionate smooches leave you gagging, you may need to get his choppers checked. Bad breath is often a sign of dental trouble in our canine pals! Read on as a California, MD vet offers some advice on keeping your pup’s teeth healthy.
It may take time to get your pooch used to the idea of having his teeth brushed, but that’s perfectly fine. Start by just gently massaging Fido’s teeth and gums with your finger. Then, add some pet toothpaste and, finally, a doggy toothbrush. Incorporate treats and attention, so your pup feels pampered, not punished.
Fido can’t tell you if he has a toothache, so it’s important to watch for warning signs. Bad breath, as mentioned above, is a common one. Other red flags include excessive, bloody, or ropy drool; visible tartar buildup; bloody gums; bloody streaks on toys and dishes; and swelling. You may also notice behavioral changes. Fido may take longer eating, dribble food, chew on one side of his mouth, or start preferring softer foods. He may also not feel very playful, and may act withdrawn or grumpy.
If Fido won’t stand for having his teeth brushed, ask your vet about other options. Dental-formula kibble, treats, and chews can all help, as can oral rinses and dental flakes. Even putting some doggy toothpaste on a chew stick can help!
Making sure Fido always has fresh water is of course crucial to his overall health, but it’s also very important for his dental care. You may want to get him a pet fountain. Many dogs prefer to drink running water!
Chew toys are actually very beneficial for Fido. Chewing helps keep dogs’ jaws strong. Plus, it will stimulate the flow of saliva, helping keep your canine buddy’s mouth clean. Ask your vet to recommend safe, suitable chew toys.
You should have Fido’s choppers checked regularly, starting at around age one. In between visits, keep an eye out for the symptoms we’ve listed above. If you notice any of them, contact your vet immediately.
Please contact us, your California, MD vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!