Canine dental health in 5 easy steps1st April 2018
Your dog’s bad breath can be a real worry – but take some positive action today to improve dental hygiene and you’ll be delighted with the results.
Bad breath in dogs is so common, but that doesn’t mean you should accept it as normal. It’s usually a sign of dental disease, which affects over 80% of adult dogs.
Tackling this problem not only improves the smell, but it also ensures their gums and teeth are as healthy as possible. There is plenty of evidence to show that animals with healthy mouths live healthier happier lives.
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- If you suspect your dog has dental disease, why not book an appointment with one of our vets at Bollington Veterinary Centre. We’ll take a look and be able to:
Bad breath (halitosis)
- Discolouration of the teeth due to a build-up of brown or yellow tartar
- Blood on the gums and teeth
- Blood in the water bowl or on toys
- Red and swollen gums and lips – often starting as a small red line along the tooth-gum margin
- Difficulty picking up food or chewing on one side of the mouth only
- Loose teeth – check the incisors, canines, premolars and molars
- Sneezing, or a discharge from the nostrils
- Confirm the problem
- Descale and polish the teeth
- Carry out extractions if needed
- Make recommendations for future hygiene
Why is dental disease such a problem?
Periodontal disease can be distressing and result in long term complications.
- Receding gums and tooth loss is common
- The disease is progressive, causing inflammation and damage of the gums, tooth roots and jawbone
- Bacteria inside the mouth can enter the bloodstream, travel around the body and trigger serious problems with the heart and kidneys
5 ways to stop dental disease
As always, prevention is the best possible option. It’s even more important to heed our advice if your dog has already been treated for problems.
- Take our advice – make sure our vets at Bollington Veterinary Centre check your pet’s teeth every year. Ask our clinical experts to show you how to brush your dog’s teeth. We’ve got lots of experience and can give suggestions on how to make it work for you and your dog.
- Brushing – if you can, brush your dog’s teeth every day using a soft toothbrush and dog toothpaste. It takes time to get your dog used to this, but it is worth it. Don’t use human toothpaste though, as they contain foaming agents, which are bad for dogs.
- Choose the right food – some foods are much better than others regarding dental health. Generally dry foods cause fewer problems than wet foods. At Bollington Veterinary Centre we can recommend diets that are specifically formulated to help keep teeth clean.
- Dental chews and toys – these are available to help promote good health. Some are more effective than others, so please ask us what we recommend. It’s also important to be careful where you buy them, as there have been some dog chews that have been harmful.
- Be breed aware - extra care should be taken with certain breeds, as some are more susceptible to dental health problems than others. These include Boxers, Pugs, Greyhounds, Schnauzers and Yorkshire terriers.
Remember, booking a check-up appointment with one of our vets at an early stage can often prevent serious problems developing later on.
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