Your Pet’s Pearly Whites

Dogs need dental care too! Unfortunately, dental hygiene for dogs is sometimes overlooked but is just as important to their overall health as nutrition, proper exercise and routine grooming. As well as causing bad breath, plaque and tartar can cause bacteria to spread throughout the body. Organs affected are the liver, kidney and heart. Diseased teeth may also be a source of pain that your pet is unable to demonstrate to you.

Studies show that almost all pets over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease so catching teeth problems early will help avoid severe dental disease. Your veterinarian will examine your dog’s teeth during routine examinations. If dental cleaning is warranted, this will be done under a general anesthetic. Loose and diseased teeth will be extracted. While anesthetized, your pet will be monitored and given intravenous fluids. In many cases, antibiotics are given during the procedure so you may be sent home with them. If teeth are extracted, pain management medications will also be sent home.

However, the best medicine is prevention! Your new puppy should be trained to tolerate daily brushing with a soft brush and pet-friendly toothpaste. Toothpaste suitable for people cannot be used. Another important method of prevention is a prescribed dog food developed to clean the teeth while they eat. It is also important to note that bones, tennis balls, rope toys and sticks can break teeth and damage the natural defenses of the gums.

Maintain your pet’s healthy smile! Have their teeth checked at every annual veterinary visit, and get into a routine of brushing and diet.

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