Around 85% of dogs over the age of 4 years have some form of dental disease. Dental disease causes bad breath and pain for our pooches, and in some cases can lead to infection and can make your pet seriously ill.
If you’re worried that your pet may have dental disease, some common signs include:
- Bad breath
- Behavioural changes (e.g. lethargy, increased aggression)
- Discoloured teeth
- Favouring one side of the mouth while eating
- Loose teeth/receding gums
- Excessive drooling, sometimes red tinged
- Dropping of food from the mouth when eating, or reluctant to chew
- Sensitivity when touching the mouth/face
The good news is dental disease is preventable in most cases easy to achieve at home. Some tips are:
Brushing your pet’s teeth
It’s important to use a soft toothbrush and make sure that animal specific toothpaste is used. Slow circles on the teeth and soft brushing along the gum line are the correct ways. Start slow and use treats for good behaviour.
Healthy balanced diet with a good source of minerals and vitamins.
Treats and chews
The chewing action aids in the removal of plaque via physical rubbing and the spread of protective saliva. These should not be relied on solely for dental prevention.
There are some toys available which are again great at encouraging your dog to chew. Some of these toys include the Kong and Gumabone. Toys are a useful addition to a dental hygiene program, again should not be relied on solely from dental prevention.
Veterinary Dental treatment
And don’t forget regular veterinary examinations.