Does your canine buddy sometimes give you puppy smooches? Dogs have some pretty adorable ways of showing affection! However, Fido’s affectionate kisses won’t be very enjoyable if his breath could wilt plants. Actually, if your pet has bad breath, he may need his choppers checked. This is actually a common sign of dental issues in dogs. Read on as a Chesapeake, VA vet discusses doggy dental care.

Know The Warning Signs

As mentioned above, bad breath is often a sign of doggy dental woes. Some other red flags include excessive drool, bloody smears on toys or dishes, swelling, and tartar buildup. Fido may also show some behavioral signs. He may withdraw, lose interest in play, and/or shy away from having his mouth touched. He also might take longer eating, dribble food, chew on one side of his mouth, or start preferring softer foods.

Understanding The Dangers

Dental problems can be very painful for dogs, just as they are for us. They’re also very dangerous! Infections and abscesses can become extremely serious, as the infection can reach the brain. Gum disease is also a big concern. As the disease progresses, the bacteria can move through Fido’s bloodstream to his vital organs, and can contribute to major health issues, such as heart disease. Dental problems can also stop your canine friend from chewing or eating properly.

Have Fido’s Choppers Examined Regularly

Fido should have his teeth checked at least once a year, starting at age one. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, schedule an appointment immediately. Treatments can range from a simple deep cleaning to extractions or other procedures. Once your vet has diagnosed the issue, you’ll be able to discuss specific options.

Provide Good Dental Care At Home

The best way to keep Fido’s teeth healthy is to brush them. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically made for dogs. Start slow, and work in lots of treats, praise, and ear scritches. If your four-legged friend isn’t having it, you can still help keep his teeth healthy by offering him dental-formula treats, kibble, or chews. Other products, such as oral rinses and dental flakes, may also help. Ask your vet for specific recommendations. Last but not least, make sure that your pooch always has fresh water and suitable chew toys.

Please reach out to us, your Chesapeake, VA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!