February is P et Dental Health Month. Dental care is a very important, but unfortunately often overlooked, aspect of a good dog care regimen. Here, a vet Portland, OR vet offers some advice on keeping Fido’s choppers healthy.
Fido should have his choppers examined annually, starting at age one. You’ll also want to make an appointment if you notice anything amiss. Keep in mind that the point of treating doggy dental issues woes is not to give your pup a perfect smile. It’s to rectify and/or prevent issues that cause pain, infections, or other problems.
Dogs can’t tell us if their teeth hurt, but they do give off some clues. You just need to know what to look for. Some common ones include bad breath; stringy, ropy, or excessive drool; bleeding gums; swelling; tartar buildup; and bloody smears on toys and dishes. You may also notice some behavioral changes. For instance, Fido may not feel very playful if his teeth hurt, and he may seem withdrawn or grumpy. You’ll also want to watch for changes in eating habits, such as dribbling or chewing on one side of the mouth.
Brushing is just as beneficial for pups as for people. You’ll need to start slow, though, to get your furry pal used to the idea. At first, just rub his gums gently. Then, you can slowly add in doggy toothpaste and a pet toothbrush.
There are now many products geared specifically towards keeping Fido’s choppers healthy, such as oral rinses, dental flakes, and dental-formula chews. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Water is crucial for survival, of course, but it’s also very important for your canine pal’s oral health. Fido should have clean water available at all times. You’ll also need to clean his dishes daily, to prevent germs and bacteria from building up.
Chewing is often considered a bad habit, but it’s both natural and healthy for dogs … provided they are gnawing on something suitable. Offer Fido lots of proper chew toys. This will help keep his jaw muscles strong, and also stimulate saliva flow, which will help clean his mouth.
If you know or suspect that your dog has dental issues, give us a call immediately. As your veterinary clinic Portland, OR, we’re here to help!