Dental Care for Dogs
When was the last time you looked in your dog’s mouth? Excellent oral health is as important to dogs as it is to us yet despite this, dental disease is the single most commonly diagnosed disease in pets over the age of 3! Bad breath goes beyond the ick factor and often means your dog has gingivitis, tooth pain, and possibly even a systemic infection that is affecting organ health including the kidneys, liver, and heart! Talk to us about a complimentary dental assessment to help determine the best course of action for your dog’s oral health.
What types of dental care for dogs do you offer at your clinic?
Harbour Cities Veterinary Clinic is equipped to do help you with all levels of oral health care from consultations about at home care and dental diets, to complete an oral health assessment and treatment in the clinic.
How often should you brush your dog’s teeth?
The very best home care you can provide is daily brushing. The focus is on the outer surface of your dog’s teeth, being sure to get far back as these tend to be the problem teeth. A schedule of every other day is helpful, especially if another homecare tool is used on the off days (e.g.oral gel/rinse). Dental diets are available to help and are most effective when used as the main diet vs. as a treat. Treats can aid in keeping dental disease at bay, however, on their own they are not sufficient. Please remember, when using treats you must take into account their caloric content – some treats have a lot of calories, and the amount of your dog’s daily food intake will need to be adjusted to allow for the calories in the treats you are giving. Another item to consider is the density of the treat you are giving. The best rule of thumb is that your dog should not chew on anything that is as hard as/harder than their teeth – or there is risk fracturing a tooth/teeth. Tooth fractures as a result of chewing on things like deer antlers and other bones are not uncommon, are very painful for your dog, and will result in them needing surgery.
Why is oral and dental health important?
Dental disease is not only smelly or unsightly, but it is also painful and can result in significant health concerns for your pet. When tartar accumulates, and gingivitis occurs the gumline begins to separate from the surface of the tooth. This separation creates an opening for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This bacteria, now in the blood, infects important organs including the kidneys, liver, heart, and gastrointestinal tract. These infections, if not treated, can lead to serious organ disease. Constantly fighting infection and being in pain is very stressful for your pet. When they feel sick they have less energy, may be more prone to changes in behaviours as a result of the pain, and even lose their appetite. Pet owners often comment that after their pet’s dental cleaning they were “…like a puppy again!”