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Caring for Your Dog’s Teeth

Do your dog’s affectionate kisses leave you cringing? If so, Fido may need his pearly whites checked: bad breath is often a sign of doggy dental woes! Here, a Cherry Hill, NJ vet discusses caring for your dog’s teeth.

Common Dental Issues

Dogs can have many of the same dental issues as people can. Abscesses; infections; and cracked, broken, or misaligned teeth are no more fun for Fido than they are for us! Gum disease is another common issue in dogs. This is a very serious concern, because the infection can move from Fido’s gums to his vital organs, and can contribute to some very dangerous medical issues, such as heart disease and liver trouble.

Symptoms

As noted above, dragon breath is a common symptom of dental issues in dogs. Fido may also paw at his mouth if his teeth hurt, and may lose interest in playing or chewing. Red, swollen, or bleeding gums are also red flags, as is tartar buildup. And while some of our canine pals are, well, rather slobbery, excessive, bloody, or stringy drool can be indicative of dental problems. Your pooch may be rather grumpy if his teeth are bothering him, and may not want his mouth touched. Dogs with dental trouble also sometimes prefer softer food, and may take longer eating.

Veterinary Care

Fido’s teeth should be checked by a vet at least once a year. If your pooch has brown or yellow gunk on his teeth, he may need a good deep cleaning to help fight off gum disease. Other issues will be handled on a case-by-case basis, after a proper diagnosis has been made. It’s worth noting that giving Fido a perfect smile isn’t a big concern here: with doggy dental care, the focus is on treating issues that can cause pain and/or contribute to other health problems. Ask your vet for more information.

Home Care

There are also some things you can do at home to keep your pup’s choppers healthy. Brushing is really the best thing you can do. If Fido isn’t having it, ask your vet for advice on giving him dental-formula treats, chews, or kibble. Last but not least, make sure your pup always has fresh water and plenty of suitable chew toys.

Do you know or suspect that your pet has dental issues? Contact us, your Cherry Hill, NJ pet clinic, anytime!

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