February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and many veterinarians offer discounts for dentistry this month, so this is a great time to take your dog for their teeth to be cleaned. Dental care is as important for your dog as it is for you. Without regular care, your dog may develop serious issues, such as periodontal disease, abscesses, and loss of teeth. More widespread health consequences can also occur, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and lung disease.
How Often Should I Have My Dog’s Teeth Cleaned?
Your dog’s teeth should be checked annually by your veterinarian. Many vets recommend cleaning once per year as well, but some dogs require more frequent cleanings, and some less frequent. Only a veterinarian can professionally clean your dog’s teeth, as it requires general anesthetic. Your vet will most likely also perform blood tests and other diagnostics to be sure your dog is healthy enough for anesthesia before proceeding.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has A Dental Problem?
It can be hard to know when your dog has a toothache, but there are some signs you can look out for. While some of these may also be indicative of other issues, they can certainly be a sign that there is a dental issue developing. Things such as refusal of food, bad breath, excessive drooling, swelling of the mouth, and bleeding from the mouth are all things to watch for with your dog.
What Can I Do At Home To Keep My Dog’s Teeth Clean?
Brushing your dog’s teeth is a great way to help keep them clean and healthy. Most vets agree that daily brushing is best, but even just once a week can be beneficial. It’s ideal to start when your dog is a puppy, but with training, an adult dog can become accustomed to it as well. . While most groomers also offer teeth brushing as part of their services, once a month or less is not enough to keep your dog’s teeth as clean as they need to be. Treats and other products that are marketed as being beneficial for dental health have varying levels of effectiveness, so be sure to check with your vet to see what they recommend.