Keeping your pup's mouth clean will go a long way toward protecting their health and keeping them chewing away happily. Our vets in Westfield share the typical signs that your dog is due for a dental cleaning, why it is important and what you can do at home to help care for their teeth.
Do dogs need their teeth cleaned?
One day your dog may stick their face in yours and with a deep breath you may wonder, 'Do dogs need dental cleaning?'. The answer to this is yes, dental cleanings are important to help prevent various conditions from developing. A dental cleaning for your dog can include a thorough dental examination, teeth cleaning, and polishing to remove the tartar and periodontal disease-causing plaque. This will need to be done while your dog is under general anesthesia.
Once anesthetized, your Westfield Animal Hospital vets with the help of their veterinary assistants will examine the mouth of your dog, noting any abnormalities. A dental probe will be used to evaluate gum bleeding and periodontal pockets where food can accumulate and decay if not properly cared for.
When periodontal disease is advanced, it may not be possible to save the badly affected teeth, which may need to be extracted either during the procedure or at a later time.
How Often Should It Be Done?
While the frequency will ultimately depend on your dog, the general recommendation is once yearly. Certain dog breeds require more dental cleanings, so be sure to ask your Westfield Animal Hospital vets if your dog needs more cleanings.
During a dental cleaning service, your pet will be put under anesthesia for your dog's safety and the safety of the staff and an X-ray will be performed to get a better look at any potential concerns.
When should I get my dog's teeth cleaned?
The most obvious signs that your dog needs a teeth cleaning can be seen just by physically looking in their mouth. A dog's teeth will show a buildup of plaque. If you notice some plaque buildup or gingivitis in your dog's mouth, it's probably time for a dental cleaning.
It's important to address potential dental concerns as quickly as possible before they cause complications.
Signs of Dental Problems in Dogs
Some of the most common signs of dental problems in dogs can include:
- Bad breath (Halitosis)
- Discolored or yellowing teeth
- Receding and/or bleeding gums (Gingivitis)
- Drooling (more than average)
- Loose or missing teeth
- Poor appetite
- Sneezing and nasal discharge (from an abscess that breaks into the nasal passages)
Caring For Your Dog's Teeth at Home
When it comes to caring for your dog's teeth at home, the best thing you can do is brush their teeth each and every day. The more the better but if you can get in two or three brushings per week you will be in good shape. By brushing your dog's teeth often you can help them get used to it and it will quickly become a part of their normal routine.
If you need to be shown how to brush your pet’s teeth feel free to contact Westfield vets and we will get you started in the right direction.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.