If you feel like something is wrong with your pet, could it be their teeth? Dogs suffer from periodontal disease and decay, just like humans. The best way to prevent the discomfort and costs of dental procedures is to take care of your dog's teeth and visit your vet regularly, and to utilize professional equipment to clean your pet's teeth during visits.
Some things that you need to know about keeping your dog's teeth healthy include:
Dogs get toothaches, too. When tartar builds up on your dog's teeth, the tooth can become loose and fall out. Soft pet foods, table-scraps, and dairy are particularly prone to causing a build-up of tartar, which can lead to plaque- just as it does in humans. Losing a tooth due to decay or plaque is not without pain, however, so many dogs will suffer in silence for extended periods of time, possibly losing weight or risking infection, before the issue is identified.
Some signs of dental distress in your dog are:
- Change in appetite.
- Excessive licking.
- Burying or rubbing the face.
- Isolative behaviors.
- Uncharacteristic aggression.
- Increased vocalization, growling, or whining.
Prevention is the best protection against dental disease. Surgery is one recourse for a dog with bad teeth, but this is a painful and expensive option. The best protection is to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease in the first place by brushing your dog's teeth and limiting the amount of people-food that you give to your pet.
Some products that keep your pet's teeth healthy include:
- Dental chews.
- Dental rinses that can be added to your pet's water.
- Canine toothpaste.
Poor dental hygiene hurts. There are some sad repercussions of poor dental health and periodontal disease. Older animals may require anesthesia, which is not without risks, before surgery to remove the tooth, reduce your pet's pain, and avoid infection, which can lead to illness or painful abscesses. Even if a bad tooth falls out on its own, the roots and gum could be infected and continue to cause complications.
Since your dog can't tell you when they have a toothache, it is up to you to be vigilant about their dental care. Start brushing your dog's teeth early, to get them accustomed to the experience and to reduce their anxiety about this oral hygiene habit. Also, make sure to visit your vet regularly and have your pet's teeth examined and assessed by a professional.