Patrick Murphy explains what good oral health in dogs looks like
February 7, 2021
With February being Pet Dental Health Month, now is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your dog’s oral health.
A dog’s teeth and mouth really get put through the ringer. There’s chewing food, carrying things, grooming themselves and others, foraging in the garden, and of course tug-o-war with the humans. It’s no wonder things can get messy in there!
Contact us if your dog appears to have a painful mouth or is having trouble eating or drinking.
But what should your dog’s teeth and mouth look like?
With over 80% of dogs over the age of three having some level of dental disease, it’s important to know when your dog’s teeth and mouth are a cause for concern.
Head vet Patrick Murphy explains what good oral health in dogs looks like:
- Pink (or coloured if that’s normal for them) gums with no bleeding or swelling
- No discoloured or broken teeth
- Little to no plaque around the gumline (clear/yellow soft substance)
- No buildup of tartar (hard brown coating on teeth)
- Breath that smells neutral or a bit smelly, not excessively bad
Poor dental health can be uncomfortable and painful for your dog and can cause them problems when eating and drinking. It can also affect their general wellbeing – we’ve all been a bit of a grump when it comes to toothache!
Left untreated, gum disease and tooth decay can lead to secondary infections in vital organs including the lungs and kidneys, so it’s important to try and prevent it, and treat it sooner rather than later.
Patrick has these 5 home care tips for you:
- Brush your dog’s teeth daily or 4-5 times per week with a soft toothbrush or special finger brush, and pet-specific dental gel.
- Use dental products that go into water and can be sprinkled over food.
- Dental chews can help, but be wary of the calories. Carrots can be a good alternative in moderation.
- Try toys designed to give your dog’s teeth a dental workout.
- Even though it might seem fun, be careful or even avoid tugging at toys in your dog’s mouth as this can damage their teeth.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s dental health, get in touch with our team for advice.