According to various sources, somewhere between 70-85% of dogs over the age of 4 have a dental issue or some form of gum disease.
That's a pretty good percentage of canines!
And since most dogs are really good at hiding pain (that's an evolutionary trait - dogs in the wild would never want to show weakness), it is important to make sure you are consistently on top of your pups dental health. Here are 4 ways you can help your dog maintain that healthy, beautiful doggy smile.
1.) Regular brushing
Just like us two legged folks, our four legged friends are no different. Regular brushing is crucial for your pup. Just be sure to have your vet check your pup's mouth of bigger problems first (esp in adult dogs), so you don't irritate any issue they may already have while brushing.
2.) Checking for oral issues
It's always good to take a look at your pup's teeth, mouth, and lips periodically (weekly if possible) to see if there are any loose teeth, irregularities, swelling, bad breath, or if two teeth are inhabiting the same area, as all these can cause further complications down the line or be signals to a bigger issue. Doing this check is the best way to stay on top of your pup's oral health and if you find anything concerning, bring your dog to the vet as soon as you can. .
3.) Changing in eating habits
If you notice your dog is eating less than normal, or not at all, or tilting their head to one side while they eat, that could be a sign that there is a dental problem the dog is dealing with. As mentioned above, dogs are really good at covering up pain (it's actually a trait bred in them) so you may have a difficult time detecting the oral pain your dog is experiencing. This is why it's good to monitor the amount that they are (or are not) eating.
4.) Look closely at your pup's favorite chew toys.
Often times, toys are a great way to keep your dog's dental hygiene in good shape. But certain toys can also cause chipping, or irritation to the teeth - or these toys will show you if there is a current oral issue that needs addressing. If there is blood coloration or browning on those toys your pup seems to love to chew the most, it might be time to check with your vet to see if there is any oral disease, that your pup may have.
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