Taking care of your dog’s teeth should be a priority for any responsible canine owner. Your canine depends on his teeth for eating his meals, but also for picking up and carrying items such as when playing with toys and collecting your slippers! If his teeth become compromised by poor dental health, not only can it spell disaster for how he uses them, but it can also have serious repercussions for his wider health. This is because poor oral hygiene and dental problems have been linked to increased risk of health problems including diabetes and oral cancer.
To help you ensure that your canine’s dental wellbeing is properly take care of, here are our top dental tips for dogs.
Take him for check-ups with his pet dentist
Annual wellness checks are a standard part of canine ownership and something that most people expect to take their pet to each year. However, regular dental check-ups are also extremely valuable for the health and wellbeing of your pet. These are usually annual appointments, but if your pet dentistry team in Gainesville, FL feel that it would be beneficial for your canine to be monitored more closely, the frequency of these visits may be increased to every six months. Dental check-ups are an ideal time for your pet dentist to assess the health and condition of your dog’s teeth and make any recommendations for lifestyle changes or treatments that would benefit his dental health.
Get his teeth cleaned professional
Professional dental cleans are another service offered by pet dentists in Gainesville, FL. As their name suggests, they involve your dog’s teeth being cleaned by a professional. The difference between this and brushing your canine’s teeth at home is that most professional cleans are carried out while your dog is under the effects of a general anesthetic. This means that he will remain calm and still, making the cleaning process much easier and safer. Your pet dentist will use special tools to remove all plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth, and since he is asleep, will have all the time needed to conduct a very comprehensive clean.
Brush his teeth at home
Although your pet dentist or vet in Gainesville, FL is your go-to professional for dental care for your dog, in-between visits you are the one that is responsible for ensuring that his teeth are as healthy as they possibly can be. One of the most effective ways to do this is to take the time to brush his teeth just as you would your own. Brush them at least once a week using a soft-bristled brush and specialist canine toothpaste for optimal results. Note: never use human toothpaste as it contains ingredients which could make your pet very sick.
Provide chew toys
Chewing is a great way to stimulate the production of saliva, and this can be very beneficial for your dog’s dental health. This is because saliva neutralizes the acids that can be produced when the food your pet eats interacts with the bacteria in his mouth. It can also help to wash away bacteria from his teeth. Abrasive chew toys can have a ‘brushing’ action which will also help to clean your dog’s teeth.
When to visit the vet
If you notice any of the following symptoms, it is important to arrange an appointment with your pet dentist as soon as you can.
- Persistent bad breath
- Pawing at his mouth or face
- Dropping food when he eats
- Loss of appetite accompanied by other symptoms listed here
- Teeth that brown/yellow in appearance
- Blood in his food or water bowls, or on his chew toys
- Excessive drooling
- Teeth that look broken, loose or have fallen out
- Gums that are red, swollen or bleeding
If you would like more dental tips for taking care of your dog’s teeth, our vets in Gainesville, FL would be delighted to extend the services of our experienced and knowledgeable pet dentists to you. Please get in touch with our pet dentistry team here at Shores Animal Hospital in Gainesville, FL at 352-289-8540.