February is doggy dental month! Though we humans tend to brush at least twice a day, our canine friends are often overlooked in the dental department. Cleaning your dog’s teeth is just as important for their health as it is for ours! Dogs are susceptible to illnesses such as kidney disease if a gum infection goes unnoticed. There are several signs to look for to know if your dog might be suffering from dental disease including:
· Yellow, plaque buildup along the gum line
· Bad breath
· Hesitant to eat harder foods
· Excessive drooling
· Pain when mouth or gums are touched
Some dog breeds are more prone to dental issues as well. There are dogs with longer, skinnier muzzles, dogs with shorter, wider mouths, or small dogs with very tiny mouths. Dogs that have narrower muzzles generally experience more issues with dental hygiene. This is because it is harder for food or bones to reach that far back into their mouths to help remove built up plaque.
They type of food your dog eats will also affect dental health. Crunchy and harder foods are better for dogs’ teeth to help scrap off plaque. Dogs that eat only soft or wet food will tend to have more dental issues. Your vet may recommend particular brands of dog food to help deter tooth decay so be sure to check what brands are good for your dog.
Regular brushing and dental checkups are highly recommended by vets to prevent more serious health issues occurring. Each February, many vets will offer substantial discounts on both anesthetic and non-anesthetic dental procedures to encourage dog owners to get their pets’ teeth cleaned. Clean teeth can even add years on to your pet’s life! Check with your local vet for deals and keep your doggy’s chompers shiny all year round!