February is Pet Dental Health Month! This is definitely a topic that could use some attention. Just like people, dogs can develop many different dental issues. These problems are not only very painful and debilitating, they can seriously impact your canine companion’s overall quality of life. A local Rockwall, TX vet offers some tips on Fido’s dental care below.
Keep an eye out for signs of doggy dental woes. Bad breath is a common one, and may be the first thing you notice. Other red flags include visible tartar buildup, swelling, excessive drool, and a lack of interest in playing. Fido may seem uncharacteristically grumpy, and he may go off by himself instead of hanging out with the family. You may also notice changes in your canine pal’s eating habits. Chewing on a sore tooth is no fun! Your pooch may go for soft foods, dribble food out of his mouth, chew more slowly, or, in severe cases, not finish his dinner. Call your vet right away if you notice any of these things.
Fido can’t take care of his own teeth, so it’s up to you to do it for him. Brushing is the best thing you can do here. Start slow, and take your time with training. This should progress in stages, starting with just rubbing your dog’s gums. You’ll need to use a pet toothpaste and a pet toothbrush: things made for us are neither safe nor suitable for pups. If your furry buddy won’t stand for having his teeth cleaned, don’t force him. There are other things you can try instead, such as dental-formula treats and chews, oral rinses, and dental flakes. Ask your vet for specific advice.
In addition to Fido’s home care regimen, you’ll also want to get his choppers checked by a vet regularly. This should happen about once a year, starting around age one. If your canine buddy develops dental issues, treatment options will be offered on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, a simple cleaning may be all that’s needed. Other issues may require extractions. Just take care not to let these issues go: many dental issues can lead to dangerous infections, which can be particularly dangerous so close to the brain.
Do you have questions about your furry friend’s health or care? Contact us, your Rockwall, TX animal clinic, today!