Good dental health is a vital to your pet’s overall health. But one of the questions I often get asked is, “How do I clean my dog’s teeth?” Home dental care, combined with annual dental check-ups with your vet, can help protect your pet against dental disease and related problems.
Untreated dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other underlying health problems. That’s why the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) sponsors National Pet Dental Health Month every February.
How do I Clean My Dog’s Teeth?
This six-minute video from the AVMA will give you some valuable tips on how to make your dog or cat comfortable with tooth brushing as a regular routine, and explain the best way to introduce the idea to your dog. The younger you can start regular brushing, the better for your dog’s dental health.
Annual Dental Check-Ups
Just as us humans brush our teeth (at least) daily, we still need to visit our dentist once or (ideally) twice a year. To keep your pet’s mouth healthy and to pick up on early signs of dental problems, you should have your pet’s teeth and gums checked at least once a year by your veterinarian.
Once a year is fine unless you notice any of the following problems; if you do notice any of these, have your pet’s teeth checked sooner:
- Bad breath
- Broken or loose teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain in or around the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
You know how cranky having toothache can make you? It’s no different for your pet. So, if your usually relaxed, docile pet seems irritable or snappy, they may be in pain with dental issues.
If you notice any changes in your pet’s usual behavior, you should schedule a visit to your vet. On that note, be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth if you think they may have dental issues, because an animal in pain may instinctively bite if you are poking around and literally hit a nerve.
Contact Compassionate Animal Care Today
If you have any concerns about your pet’s dental health, or need some hands-on help in starting to brush at home, please call 480.774.6995 to schedule an appointment with Compassionate Animal Care in Queen Creek today.
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