Does your dog suffer from dental disease? If your pet is older than three, chances are good he or she might. The American Veterinary Dental College warns that periodontal disease is the most common disease in adult dogs, and most dogs have some measure of it by the time they reach three years of age. If left untreated, dental disease causes a variety of health problems in dogs, including pain, infection, organ damage and other issues, but it can be successfully prevented and treated. A combination of home care, including the use of dental bones and treats, and regular dental cleaning can keep your dog’s mouth healthy.
Food and Dental Health
What your dog eats can actually have an impact on the animal’s dental health. A high-quality, balanced diet keeps the body, including teeth, strong and healthy. Certain foods, including some dry diets, can even reduce tartar. It is important to note, however, that not all dry foods have the same benefits for oral health.
Choosing Food and Treats for Dental Health
If you have a healthy dog without obvious dental disease, you can incorporate dental treats and bones into your dog’s diet to help keep their teeth clean.
If you have a dog with an existing extreme dental problem, be sure to ask your veterinarian before using dental food or treats. If your dogs dental problem is extreme certain foods or treats can be difficult for them to chew. Animals with extreme dental disease may not be able to chew large pieces of kibble comfortably and may require small kibble or soft food until their mouths heal completely.
Signs that Your Dog Needs Professional Dental Care
Signs of early dental disease are subtle and many owners do not realize there is a problem until the disease is quite advanced. Some things to look out for include the following:
- Bad breath.
- Dropping food.
- Trouble eating.
- Chewing on only one side of the mouth.
- Behaviour changes.
- Becoming sensitive about being touched on the mouth or head.
- Swollen or red gums.
- Weight loss in advanced cases.
- Reluctance to play fetch or other games requiring use of the mouth.
- Discoloured teeth.
- Bleeding from the mouth.
If you notice any of these signs, bring your dog in to see us. Any of our staff will be more than happy to take a look and give you the right guidance on what you should do next. Prompt treatment will help prevent pain and suffering for your dog and high veterinary bills for you.
Come by our storefront at 2116 Queen St East in Toronto and see the huge selection of products we carry to help with your pet’s dental health or call us to see if we have the products.