Published 02/08/2021

Dental Care: How to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean

Dental Care Keep Dogs Teeth Clean
Just as it is important to people’s overall health, it is important to monitor and take care of your dog’s teeth and gums. Poor oral health could lead to toothaches and gum disease, which can often cause pain and suffering. When left untreated, dental problems can also lead to more severe problems like infections and heart disease.

Dog Dental Care

Your vet should examine your dog’s teeth and gums at least once per year. In between visits, you should practice regular, at-home dental care to help prevent plaque and tartar buildup which causes periodontal disease, the leading dental disease in dogs.

Professional dental cleanings are just like other preventive healthcare methods, like vaccines and wellness checks. Talk with your vet about how often they recommend dental cleanings as part of your dog’s routine care.

Dental Disease in Dogs

Dental diseases are some of the most common health issues affecting dogs. VCA reports more than 80% of dogs ages 3+ to have active dental disease, with periodontal disease making up two-thirds of those cases.

Periodontal disease, the most common disease amongst pet dogs, can be more common or more severe in certain breeds and may require special attention.

Signs of dental disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Changes in behavior
  • Swelling, pain, or bleeding from or around the mouth
  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • Abnormal chewing or eating habits

If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms or is exerting any other abnormal behaviors, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Establishing Dental Care Routine in Dogs

In addition to regular dental exams with your vet, you can take a number of small steps at home to prevent oral health problems and reduce the need or frequency of veterinary cleanings.

As AVMA suggests, the single most effective way to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup is by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. Ideally, brushing them daily is best but is not always realistic for some pet owners; aim to brush your dog’s teeth weekly or monthly, at least. All you need is a small toothbrush and dog-friendly toothpaste—they even have fun flavors, like chicken! 

On the days when you can’t get around to brushing, you can offer your pup dental chews or treats instead. There are special chew toys and treats made to help reduce and slow down tartar buildup in dogs, and also help to fight against stinky breath.

Talk to your vet first before trying any new products to make sure they’re safe for your pet and ask them if they have any recommendations.

Regular exams and professional cleanings at the vet help prevent dental disease. The frequency of routine dental cleanings will depend on your dog’s breed, age, and oral health status so be sure to consult your vet on this.

Schedule Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

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Scheduling your pet’s next dental cleaning through the PetPro app is easier than brushing their teeth at home, we promise.

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