Dental issues are just as common in dogs as they are in people. Over 80 percent of dogs over the age of three have some form of gum disease. Issues like abscesses, misalignments, overcrowding, and cracked or broken teeth are also not uncommon … and are no more fun for Fido than they are for us. A local Steamboat Springs, CO vet discusses doggy dental care below.
Watch For Warning Signs
Fido may be pretty good about communicating when he wants a walk, a treat, or a belly rub, but he’s not quite as clear about letting on that his teeth hurt. You’ll need to keep an eye out for warning signs. Bad breath is a common one. If your cute pet’s affectionate smooches leave you feeling slightly nauseous, he may have dental trouble. Other red flags include excessive or bloody drool, tartar buildup, and bleeding gums, which may leave red smears on your pet’s toys or dishes. There are also a few behavioral clues to look for. Your pooch may seem a bit glum, and he may not feel very playful. He may also chew on one side of his mouth, prefer softer foods, and/or take longer eating. If you notice any of these signs, call your vet right away. It’s worth nothing that many of these issues can be indicative of a variety of medical issues, so don’t wait.
Keep Up With Exams
You should have Fido’s choppers checked at least once a year, starting when he’s about a year old. You’ll also want to make an appointment if you notice any of the symptoms we’ve listed above. Keep in mind that treatment for dental issues in dogs isn’t focused on aesthetics. Instead, the concern is to address issues that can cause pain, infection, and/or difficulty chewing or eating.
Offer Home Care
Home care is also important. Brushing is the best option, though this will of course take some training. If Fido isn’t having it, you can offer him dental-formula chews, treats, or kibble. These are specifically formulated to fight plaque and tartar. Oral flakes and dental rinses can help as well. Your canine pal should also have safe, suitable chew toys and plenty of fresh, clean water. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Do you know or suspect that your pet has dental problems? Contact us, your Steamboat Springs, CO veterinary clinic, today!