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Why Dog Dental Care Is So Important

By July 1, 2023 August 4th, 2023 blog, Caring for Your Pet

Dogs are valuable members of the family, and many people love them like children. To provide the best care for your dog, don’t forget the benefits of dog dental care.

Keep reading to discover why Midway Animal Hospital believes dental care for your dog is so important. We’re Alpharetta, Georgia’s trusted pet dental care professionals. With compassionate and high-quality services, we help you enjoy every day possible with your pet.

Advantages of Avoiding Dental Disease

Dental disease is a common condition pets develop when plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth becomes trapped beneath the gums. Over time, the plaque can enter the bloodstream and cause body-wide damage. The condition can start early in dogs. By the time they’re three, over 80% of dogs have periodontal disease.

Preventing Tooth Loss

Good dental health can help prevent tooth loss, because dental disease causes them to fall out. Without teeth, dogs can’t eat as well or enjoy the life you want to give them. With regular dental cleanings, your dog’s teeth stay strong and healthy for years.

Avoiding Bad Breath

While it might seem like bad breath is a natural part of being a dog, halitosis can be a sign your pet has poor dental hygiene. If you can’t stand the smell of your dog’s breath, schedule a dental examination to help restore their mouth to good health.

Preventing Pain

No one wants to see someone they love in pain. But when your dog suffers from dental disease, that’s exactly what happens. With teeth falling out and plaque building up beneath the gums, your dog will find eating painful.

To help your dog avoid oral pain throughout their life, work closely with your veterinarian to maintain their dental health.

Avoiding Organ Damage

Dental disease affects more than your dog’s mouth, so when you care for your dog’s teeth, you’re promoting their overall well-being. When the bacteria from the plaque enters the bloodstream, it makes its way to the kidneys, heart, and liver.

Signs Your Dog Has Dental Disease

Dogs rarely show signs of discomfort or pain, as they’ve evolved to know pain is a sign of weakness. However, if you remain aware of the following signs, you could help identify your dog’s dental problems.

Damaged Teeth

Your dog’s teeth should never come loose (once they’re an adult) or suffer cracks or discoloration. While yellow teeth are an early sign of dental disease, by the time you notice more severe damage, they’ve likely had the condition for years. When you work with your vet, they can help your dog adjust to life with fewer teeth.

Changes in Bodily Fluids

Be vigilant about any changes in your dog’s bodily fluids, including:

  • Blood: If you notice blood on their gums or on their chew toys, it can indicate an aggravation or weakening gum strength. You may also notice the blood in their saliva.
  • Saliva: If the saliva is thicker than normal, ropey, or stretchier than usual, your dog could have bacterial buildup that comes from plaque.
  • Nasal discharge and sneezing: Advanced dental disease can wear away the bone between the nose and mouth.

Unusual Eating Habits

If you notice your dog chewing on one side, vocalizing when they yawn, or having trouble picking up food, it could be nursing pain from dental disease.

How to Care for Your Dog’s Teeth

For proper dental health, it’s imperative you work with your veterinarian for a comprehensive care plan both at home and at their office. The vet will likely suggest the following dental care methods as a general approach.

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Brush your dog’s teeth four days a week to promote proper dental health. Here are some tips to help make brushing easier:

  • Purchase a dog toothbrush, which uses softer bristles than human ones. Use one that’s appropriate for your dog’s size.
  • Use the right dog safe toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste on your dog because the fluoride in it is bad for them. Pick out a flavor your dog enjoys to make the process of brushing more enjoyable for them.
  • Start brushing your dog’s teeth when they are a puppy, even though they’ll lose all those teeth. It establishes the habit and helps your dog accept the process.
  • Only brush your dog’s teeth when it’s calm and relaxed. A well-exercised, tired dog provides an excellent opportunity for brushing.

How do you brush your pet’s teeth? Follow these steps:

  1. Help your dog get used to your hand in their mouth.
  2. Let them lick the toothpaste from your finger.
  3. Let the dog examine the toothbrush, including smelling and licking.
  4. Use a calm voice to talk to and soothe the dog. Gently lift the dog’s lips and brush its teeth.
  5. Reward the dog with a treat when you’re done.

Dental Treats

If your dog won’t let you brush their teeth, giving them dental treats is another option. Your vet can work with you to find the best treats for your dog and keep an eye on their effectiveness.

Dental Toys

Some dog toys provide the dual purpose of entertainment and promoting dental health. These toys are durable and provide stimulation for your dog while keeping their teeth clean. Talk with your vet about the best toy options for your dog.

Professional Cleaning

A comprehensive cleaning by a professional requires your dog to undergo generalized anesthesia. While your dog sleeps, the veterinarian will clean their entire mouth, including under the gumline.

Contact Midway Animal Hospital for Dog Dental Care

If you want to keep your dog healthy and enjoying life, make dog dental care part of their routine medical care. Midway Animal Hospital can clean your dog’s teeth and teach you home methods so your dog can enjoy a long healthy life.

Contact Midway Animal Hospital today to book an appointment for your dog’s dental care.