Did you know that dental issues are extremely common in dogs? Over 80 percent of dogs over age 3 have gum disease. Fido is also susceptible to other problems, such as cracked or broken teeth, abscesses, overcrowding, and misalignments. These issues can be very painful, and even debilitating. A local Goodyear, AZ vet goes over some basics of doggy dental issues in this article.
Your canine pal can’t tell you if his teeth are bothering him, so it’s up to you to look for warning signs. Some common ones are bad breath; visible tartar buildup; swelling around the face or mouth; bloody streaks on toys or dishes; and excessive, ropy, or stringy drool. You may also notice some behavioral changes. Fido may take longer eating, chew on one side of his mouth, start preferring softer foods, or just not eat as much as he used to. He may also act grumpy or withdrawn, and may shy away from having his mouth touched.
Dental exams are just as important for dogs as they are for people. We recommend having your furry friend’s choppers checked at least once a year, starting around age one. In between visits, keep an eye out for the red flags listed above. If you notice any of them, take Fido to the vet right away.
There are also things you can do at home. Brushing is the most beneficial. Your canine buddy will need to get used to the idea. Start by gently rubbing his teeth and gums with your finger. Then, add some pet toothpaste. Choose a yummy flavor, like beef or chicken, to make the process more fun for your pooch. Finally, you can incorporate a doggy toothbrush. Make sure to give your pup treats and praise, so he forms a good association with the process. If your furry pal won’t sit still for you to brush his teeth, ask your vet about other options. Products like oral rinses, dental flakes, and dental-formula treats and chews can all help fight plaque and tartar. (Tip: put some pet toothpaste on a Nyla bone or chew stick, and let Fido have at it.) It’s also important to make sure that your dog always has plenty of fresh, clean water and suitable chew toys.
Please reach out to us, your Goodyear, AZ vet clinic, anytime. We are here to help!