If your dog has offensive breath, chances are that he has unhealthy teeth and gums. The good news is, there is something you can do about it – you can keep his teeth and gums healthy and in good shape.
Prevention is Better than Cure
- The best thing you can do for your dog is to brush his teeth Use a specially designed pet toothbrush, or a soft baby toothbrush, with specifically formulated pet toothpaste.
- Make sure you feed your pet good-quality pet food, which will not only nourish the body, but also ensure stronger teeth. Foods to avoid are those made with by-products such as meals and cereal grains, which tend to stick to the teeth.
Fruit and veggie snackscan assist in cleaning the plaque off the dog’s teeth.
- Other options are dried meat treats– they help in cleaning teeth during the chewing action.
- Your dog might also enjoy chewy toys made from rubber or nylon. Choose your dog’s toys with care. Be careful when giving your dog cow hooves or rawhide chews. These often result in tooth or gum damage, and should your dog swallow a piece, it could result in an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract.
If your dog had a toothache, would you know? If his gums were receding and painful, could you tell? Probably not. Your pet may be in chronic pain, but you wouldn’t know it. Why? Dogs have evolved to hide such pain. Their animal instinct is to not show signs of weakness.
Detecting dental disease in your dog can be as simple as opening his mouth, looking at his teeth and gums, and smelling his breath. The telltale signs that your dog’s teeth are unhealthy include:
- Bad breath, which is a sign of plaque and bacterial build-up, and can be the first indicator of dental problems.
- Red, swollen or bleeding gums.
- Growths on the gums.
- Increased drooling.
- Pawing at the mouth.
- Swelling of the face underneath the eye/s.
- A build-up of yellowish-brown, plaque-like deposits and tartar on the teeth.
- Reluctance to eat or difficulty eating and subsequent weight loss.
- Nasal discharge or sneezing.
- Loose teeth.
If you notice any of these signs, consult your vet or the resident vet at Family Pet Centre.