Why Your Dog’s Dental Health Matters And What to Do About It

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You take care of your pearly whites regularly by brushing, flossing and going to the dentist. If you have a dog, you might not realize it, but taking care of his teeth is just as important too.

Dog dental health doesn’t just keep a dog’s mouth looking good; it can also have a major impact on your dog’s health overall. Here’s why you should be paying attention to your dog’s dental health regularly, and how you can help give him good oral care.

Avoiding Bad Breath

Like humans, dogs get bad breath if you don’t take care of their mouths. A dog’s breath can be bad due to the things he eats or chews. However, if there’s a consistently rotten or bad smell, there’s a chance that something is rotting in his mouth. If your dog has a bad smell from his mouth that lingers, take him to the vet to get him checked out.

Preventing Pain

When a dog has problems with his mouth or teeth, they hurt him — just like yours hurt you! By taking care of your dog’s mouth, you can ensure that he doesn’t experience oral pain.

Oral pain isn’t just unpleasant for your pooch. It also makes it hard for him to eat, chew or drink, which can lead to dehydration, malnutrition and frustration especially if your dog can’t carry his favorite toys to where he wants them to be.

Mouth Infections Can Spread

When your dog gets an infection in his mouth, it can affect his gums, teeth, tongue and more. However, if you let your dog’s mouth infection go untreated, the infection can get into his blood stream and spread throughout his body.

A systemic infection like this can result in major health problems or death for your dog so catching any infections before they start or spread can be crucial for your pet’s overall well-being.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Dog’s Dental Health

If you want to take better care of your dog’s dental health, there are some simple steps that you can take to keep his teeth clean, his breath fresh and his mouth infection free.

Go to the Vet for Regular Cleanings

To really get your dog’s teeth clean, he needs to be under anesthesia. Once a year, take your dog to the vet to get checked out — then have them do a deep dental cleaning. You can do this when you go for an annual checkup or when you go to get a prescription for your dog’s medication.

While some vets can fill the medicine for you on the spot without a prescription, getting one means you can fill it at a local drug store (like Walgreens) or at an online pet pharmacy (like Allivet).

Give Him Teeth Friendly Treats

Your dog probably loves treats. Give him ones that have been specially formulated to help keep his teeth clean. Dog treats like Dentastix and Greenies help reduce plaque and tartar buildup which helps to freshen bad breath, too.

Many pet stores will sell treats that keep breath fresh and mouths cleaner, so ask the store, or consult your vet. These treats will be enjoyable for pets to eat and helpful for their overall dental health.

Try to Brush Regularly

You won’t be able to do as good of a job as a vet, but you should try to brush your dog’s teeth daily. You can get a toothbrush for your dog and a pet-safe enzymatic toothpaste in flavors like poultry and vanilla mint) that he may actually enjoy having in his mouth. Run the brush over his top and bottom teeth to help remove some bacteria and stop more tartar and plaque from building up.

Even if you don’t think your dog has bad breath, it’s a good idea to peek inside his mouth every week or so and try to brush daily . . . or, at the very least, let the groomer do a tooth brush when you take him to get groomed and ask the vet to check out his teeth and consider a deep cleaning if the vet thinks it’s a good idea.

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About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi worked in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions. Retired, she currently lives with her spoiled dog and four chickens (who are, interestingly enough, also spoiled).

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