February 09, 2024 3 min read

February is Pet Dental Health Month. Just like people, your pet has dental health needs too, but unlike people, your pet is dependent on you to help them take care of their teeth. Dental disease in dogs affects their teeth, gums, and structures that support and surround their teeth. When a dog’s teeth go unbrushed, plaque builds up containing food particles and bacteria. If left alone the plaque will harden into tartar. Tartar can make its way below the gumline and cause inflammation and infections. If left untreated, your dog could experience serious health problems.


Dental Health Problems

Pets can develop many of the same dental problems as people do such as:

  • Broken teeth and roots
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Abscesses or infected teeth
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Malocclusion or misalignment of the teeth and bite
  • Broken or fractured jaw
  • Palate defects

Untreated dental disease can even lead to organ damage if bacteria from the plaque enters the bloodstream.


Signs of Dental Health Problems

There are many signs your dog might be experiencing dental health problems. Be on the lookout for possible symptoms such as:

  • Bad breath
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Abnormal chewing
  • Unusual drooling
  • Dropping food
  • Reduced appetite
  • Refusal to eat
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Swelling in and around the mouth
  • Mouth pain

If you notice any signs or symptoms that your dog is experiencing dental health problems, be sure to contact your veterinarian.


Preventing Dental Health Problems

You can prevent dental disease by helping your pet take care of their dental health. Annual professional dental cleanings are recommended to help clean your dog’s teeth and catch any potential problems early. Catching problems before they become serious can save you from expensive dental care in the future.

There are also ways you can help your dog at home.

Prevent Dental Health Problems at Home

  1. Brushing your dog’s teeth will help to prevent any plaque buildup. It’s recommended to start brushing your dog’s teeth early in their life to get them used to it and prevent any dental health problems that may begin early in life. Be sure to get dog-friendly toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste on your dog.
  2. Dental treats can also help to clean your dog’s teeth. If your dog really does not like having their teeth brushed, dental treats can be a great addition or alternative to keeping their teeth clean! Your dog will enjoy chewing on the treats and you can enjoy knowing they are keeping their teeth healthy.
  3. Dental toys are also a great way to help prevent any dental problems. Toys like the ones in the Jolly Tuff Range have raised ridges on them to help clean teeth and massage your dog’s gums while they play. The Knot-n-Chew toys also have a tight weave to help clean your dog’s teeth while they chew. Giving your dog toys that help with dental health is a great way to let them have fun and play while also being healthy!

It’s best to start early when it comes to taking care of your dog’s dental health, but now is the perfect month to get more serious about your dog’s dental health. Use at home methods and professional cleanings to make sure your dog is healthy and happy!

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