We love our pets like family and sometimes we treat them better than our fellow humans. The last thing we want is to take them in for an unnecessary visit to the vet for something like dental disease. Dental disease in dogs, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the mouth. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 5 signs of dental disease and offer some great pet care tips on how to avoid a costly visit to the vet by practicing some simple doggy dental hygiene.

5 Common Signs of Dental Disease

  1. Dog Breath:Nobody likes dog breath. Generally speaking, it’s unpleasant. If you notice that your dog’s breath has become significantly worse than normal, this could be the first sign of periodontal disease. Dogs get plaque, that invisible film that grows on teeth, like humans. This plaque can carry harmful bacteria that causes halitosis. It may not be pleasant, but it’s worth checking your pets breath every so often.
  2. Swollen or Red Gums:Gum health will begin to deteriorate as bacteria continues to grow. If you notice that your dog has bad breath and his or her gums are red and/or swollen, it’s probably time to take them in for a visit to Animal Medical Center.
  3. Yellow or Brown Teeth:As our pets age, their teeth will naturally begin to yellow. If you notice the teeth becoming darker yellow or brown, this could be a sign that the bacteria have begun to do some serious damage to your pet’s dental health.
  4. Teeth are Loose or Missing:Dogs love to chew on toys, sticks, rocks and everything else; it’s what they do. They may lose the occasional tooth. It’s natural. If, however, you notice that more than a few teeth are missing or are loose, this could be a sign that your dog is suffering from dental disease.
  5. Change in Appetite:A loss of appetite can be a sign of dental disease in dogs. If you notice that your dog is losing weight it may be because he or she is not eating. Lack of playfulness or interest in chew toys could also be a sign of poor dental hygiene.

How to Prevent Dental Disease

By practicing good dental hygiene you can help prevent dental disease from ever occurring. Here are some of the best practices when it comes to maintaining your dog’s dental health.

  • Brush Regularly: Just like humans, dog teeth need a brushing every now and again to ensure some of the plaque is removed from their teeth. Too much plaque or other mineral deposits can lead to gingivitis (inflamed gums), halitosis (bad breath) and even periodontal disease.
  • Have Professional Cleanings: It’s recommended that you take your dog to the vet every 6 months for a professional dental cleaning. Depending on the breed of your dog and how regular you brush their teeth, these visits may need to happen more or less often. In any case, regular checkups for dental health are a great way to keep those teeth pearly white.
  • Use Chew Toys and Dog Good: Chew toys are great for your pets dental health. Many dog foods are specifically formulated to help prevent dental issues like gingivitis.
  • Give Them Special Treats: Lots of dog treats now have special enzymes that help prevent the build up of plaque and other mineral deposits on your dog’s teeth.

The thought of taking your pet to the vet can be stressful for you and your pet. At Animal Medical Center, we’ll take the best care of your dog because we love animals just as much as you do. You can rest easy knowing we’ll take care of your pet like we would our own.