Doggie Dental: Why Caring for Your Dog’s Teeth Is Essential

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a brown and white dog with floppy ears smiling at the camera

We all love our pups and while many of us differ if we love their kisses, we are certainly cuddling up with them on a frequent basis. But have you ever noticed an awful smell coming from your dog’s mouth?

Sometimes we can chock it up to them eating something they shouldn’t have while out on a walk, but after repeated cringing from their bad breath, it’s time to face the facts: your dog needs their teeth cleaned. 

As stated by the American Veterinary Medical Association, your pet’s dental health is an important part of their overall health. “Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats – by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken.”

Just like us, plaque begins to form on their teeth. If it’s not scraped off, it will harden into tartar that can damage teeth beneath the gums and eventually damage your pet’s jaw. While pets don’t get cavities with the same frequency as us humans, many of the long term damage caused by dental problems can also affect them such as blood infections, rotting teeth, heart, kidney, and liver damage. 

You can see how much your dog loves to gnaw on a bone, but imagine if they couldn’t do that without breaking a tooth? It would be horrible for you both. 

Periodontal disease is graded on a scale of 0 to 4. While a zero grade is normal, as the grades increase so does the severity and needed intervention by a veterinarian or veterinary dentist.

To combat bad breath and more importantly periodontal disease and tooth decay, you’ll want to make sure that you’re finding ways to take care of your pet’s teeth. 

Brushing Their Teeth

You certainly don’t have to do this as frequently as you brush your own, but brushing your pet’s teeth at least once a week will help keep plaque at bay. Now while you might be tempted to use your tube of Sensodyne, you actually want to get a toothpaste made for dogs as well as a toothbrush designed for a dog’s canines. We recommend speaking to your veterinarian for recommendations. 

You can also add dental cleaning to many of our ONYVA grooming services. Why not have your best friend walk out looking and smelling good when they’re excited to see you? 

Dental Treats

It sounds counterintuitive giving your dog a treat when you really should be trying to combat their bad breath with a doggie designed toothbrush, but some treats are actually great for your dog’s teeth. 

Some suggestions we have in store for you are the Greenies Original Dental Treat Packs. We carry a few different types of flavors and sizes for both petite and large dog mouths.

One treat per day and your dog might have a smile that’ll rival your own when you see how happy and healthy they are. Oh and they’ll have fresh breath — a definite win-win.