Maintaining good dental health is just as essential for dogs as it is for humans. Regular dental care plays a key role in preventing the build-up of plaque and tartar, which, if left untreated, can lead to smelly breath, gum disease and tooth decay.

Starting early

It’s good practice to start caring for your dog’s teeth at a young age. Begin by brushing their teeth and massaging their gums regularly. Not only does this promote the growth of clean teeth and healthy gums, but it also helps them get use to the process early on.

Vet tip: Don’t be alarmed when you notice your puppy losing their baby teeth; this is a normal process when their adult teeth start to come through.

Keeping up with dental care

As dogs grow into adulthood, they’ll have up to 42 fully-grown teeth. With more teeth, they become more prone to dental problems. Around 80% of dogs over three years old deal with dental diseases such as gingivitis or halitosis. While these issues may start in the mouth, they can lead to more severe problems affecting the heart, liver, and kidneys in the long run.

Brushing your dog’s teeth to prevent plaque and tartar build-up, along with regular check-ups can help prevent these issues.

Signs of dental disease to watch for

  • Nasty-smelling breath
    Can often be a sign of an early dental disease, so book a check-up as soon as possible when you whiff it.
  • Gum inflammation
    Is a sign of gingivitis, which causes discomfort and bleeding, and can affect a dog’s ability to chew.
  • Frequent pawing
    At their mouth or teeth, may be your pets way of expressing pain or discomfort.
  • Reduction in appetite
    Could be a sign of pain when chewing.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to book an appointment today.

Beyond brushing

Besides making teeth brushing a regular part of your dog’s routine, there are additional steps you can include in your dental routine to help keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean and healthy.

  • Dental chews:
    Treats designed to clean teeth as your dog enjoys a good gnaw.
  • Water additives:
    Designed to supplement other dental remedies and freshen breath.

Most importantly, visit your vet annually for a thorough dental check-up. As your dog reaches adulthood, they’ll need a yearly professional dental clean to remove plaque and tartar while also checking for cavities. Check for clinics offering the Best for Pet wellness plan to save $250 on a dental clean.