Healthy And Happy Teeth
We take our dogs to the vet each year to check their overall condition, but when is the last time you checked your dog’s teeth? Many dogs will show signs of gum disease by the time they're three years old because of improper dental care. And, of course, preventive care is the best care!
Here are six ways to check and improve your dog’s dental health:
1. Look for tooth decay
Bacteria and plaque-forming foods can cause plaque build-up on your dog’s teeth. Plaque eventually turns into tartar and can cause the gums to recede, tooth loss, or gingivitis. If you find that your pup’s teeth are discolored, it’s time that you start to brush your dog’s teeth regularly.
2. Smell your dog’s breath
Sometimes just by sniffing your dog’s breath, you'll know if a visit to the vet is needed. Your dog’s breath shouldn’t be off putting. If your dog’s breath has a foul odor, it could be an indication of a digestive or gum-related problem.
3. Take a look at your dog’s gums
Your dog’s gums should be pink and firm, not red or white and there should be no signs of swelling. To properly look at your pup’s gums, make sure that your dog is facing you and then gently push back the lips and inspect your dog’s gums.
4. Inspect your dog’s mouth for anything unusual
If you see any of the following problems in your dog’s mouth, there could be a bigger dental issue: dark red lines along the gum area, loose teeth, extra salivation or pus. These are all indicators to take your dog to the vet, also take note if your dog has a hard time chewing food or is pawing towards their mouth.
5. Brush your dog's teeth on a regular basis
It is very important to start brushing your dog’s teeth. All you will need is a smaller toothbrush and a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for dogs. It really isn’t that different from brushing your own teeth and can be done quickly once you get the hang of it. Think of it as a good bonding time with your doggo!
6. Buy chew toys for your dog
Chew toys are great for your dogs for so many reasons! Gnawing on a chew toy can help floss your dog’s teeth, as well as scrape away soft tartar.
If you see anything out of the ordinary in your dog’s mouth, make sure to schedule a visit with your vet. In fact, there are many pet insurance plans that cover dental work which can be a big relief if your dog needs immediate dental or health care.
To learn more about pet insurance and which plans offer dental care, check out this guide by Consumers Advocate for more info: https://www.consumersadvocate.org/pet-insurance
-The Dog Walker Blog
Follow us on Instagram for blog post announcements @thedogwalkerblog