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Doggie Dental Care: A Guide For Dog Owners

As a dog owner, you only want what's best for your furry friend. Unfortunately, many owners don't realize that dogs are just as prone to dental issues as humans. If you're a dog owner who's new to the idea of doggie dental care, read on to learn more so you can provide your dog with the best care.

What are the Causes of Dental Issues in Dogs?

Dogs use their teeth for a number of things throughout the day, from eating to playing tug-o-war. With how often they use their teeth, it makes sense that dogs would have the same dental issues as humans do.

Similar to humans, many dental issues in dogs are due to poor dental hygiene and care. Some of this care can be handled by your dog, for instance by chewing on a favorite chew toy or rawhide, but other care, such as teeth brushing, can only be handled by you or your dog's veterinarian. Other causes of dental issues in dogs include trauma and genetics.

What Symptoms May Require a Vet's Attention?

If your dog is suffering from a dental issue, there's a few things you may notice in their behaviors that signal that veterinary care is necessary.

For example, while tooth loss is healthy in pups, in dogs over the age of 1, tooth loss could signal trauma or gum disease. Other things you may notice include bad breath, changes in your dog's eating or playing habits, and red, swollen gums. Such symptoms need to be taken seriously and handled by a veterinarian right away to avoid further dental damage and to ensure that your pup isn't feeling any pain or discomfort for longer than they have to.

How Can Doggie Dental Damage Be Prevented?

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to decrease your dog's chance of suffering from dental damage.

The best thing you can do for your dog is to set up a dental cleaning appointment with their veterinarian. These appointments should happen at least once per year, though twice per year is ideal. In between cleanings, it's also important to brush your dog's teeth and provide them with chew toys to keep their teeth and gums healthy and strong. While it may take a bit of getting used to—for you and your dog—regular brushing is important to maintain your dog's dental health. While daily is best, your dog's temperament may not allow for such frequent cleanings. Speak with your dog's veterinarian for a few ideas on how to get your dog used to the practice, as well as how to do it effectively.

To learn more about properly caring for your dog's teeth, consult with a veterinarian at a location such as Metzger Animal Hospital today.