Keeping your dog’s mouth clean and healthy is all part of being a responsible dog owner.  Clean teeth and a healthy mouth are a good start to looking after your dog’s overall health.

Just like our own teeth, our pet’s teeth can develop a build-up of plaque which, if left untreated, can become tartar – a hard substance made up of bad bacteria.  This build up on the teeth will eventually cause gingivitis.  You will know your dog has gingivitis if they have bleeding gums or red and swollen gums. Most times this is diagnosed by a vet.  If your dog has gingivitis this may mean bacteria can travel through the blood stream and, in extreme cases, has been known to cause heart and kidney problems.  If you notice a build up of tartar on your dog’s teeth or would like advice on looking after your dog’s mouth then contact our PetGP nurses via the PetGP website

The following are signs there may be a problem with your dog’s mouth:

·      Smelly breath
·      Red or swollen gums
·      Bleeding gums
·      Yellow crusty build up on the teeth
·      Excessive drooling
·      Dropping food from the side of the mouth
·      Reduced appetite and weight loss

Here are some tips for keeping your dog’s mouth clean and healthy

Brush your dog’s teeth regularly – With most things prevention is better than cure and this is no exception. It is vital that you brush your dog’s teeth, ideally every day but at least once a week.  Once your dog is used to the process its actually much easier than you think.

Use an animal friendly toothpaste – Make sure you are using an animal friendly toothpaste as human toothpaste is toxic to dogs.

Start off with a finger brush – It might be easier to start off with a finger brush and build up to a double headed toothbrush as the dog becomes more used to it.

Provide your dog with natural chews and toys – These are designed to improve dental health and will also help control plaque and tartar build up.

Try changing your dog’s diet – Dry kibble will also help in the fight against dental disease. Tinned meat and pouches of dog food actually contribute to plaque build-up so adding in dry food or changing over to a complete dry diet will help a great deal.  Changing your pet’s food has to be a gradual process so for further advice on this contact our PetGP nurses via the PetGP website

Our Veterinary Nurses are on hand 24 hours a day to discuss all aspects of preventative healthcare so please contact our PetGP nurses via the PetGP website