Doggy Dental Care 101

Do your canine buddy’s affectionate doggy kisses leave you gagging? If so, Fido may need his choppers checked! Bad breath is one of the most common signs of dental trouble in dogs. Read on as a Flatwoods, KY veterinarian discusses caring for your pup’s teeth.

Common Issues

Fido can develop many of the same dental problems as people can. Gum disease is one of the most common. In fact, over 80 percent of adult dogs are afflicted! Gum disease is much more serious than one might initially think. The infection can be spread from your pup’s gums to his vital organs, and can contribute to some very serious health issues, such as heart disease. Man’s Best Friend can also suffer from cracked, broken, or infected teeth; misalignments; and abscesses.


As noted above, bad breath is often a sign of doggy dental woes. Other symptoms include heavy drooling; tartar buildup; swelling; and bleeding gums. You may also notice some changes in your pup’s behavior. Fido may not want to play much if his teeth hurt. He may also take longer eating, or start preferring softer foods. Understandably, grumpiness can also be a warning sign.

Home Care

Brushing your dog’s teeth may be easier than you think! To get your pooch used to having his teeth brushed, start by gently rubbing his gums with your finger. Then, add pet toothpaste. (Tip: pick a yummy flavor, like chicken or fish, to sweeten the deal.) Never use human toothpaste, as it can be toxic to dogs. When Fido has accepted this, start using a doggy toothbrush. You don’t have to do your furry pal’s entire mouth every day. Just do one section a day, and keep rotating. If Fido won’t let you brush his teeth, there are other things you can do to keep his mouth healthy. Ask your vet for advice on using dental-formula kibble, treats, and chews. Also, make sure your dog always has plenty of fresh water and suitable chew toys.

Veterinary Care

We recommend that dogs get their choppers checked at least once a year. If Fido gets tartar buildup, he may benefit from a good deep cleaning. Other issues will be handled individually. Ask your vet for more information.

Please contact us, your Flatwoods, KY animal hospital, with any questions or concerns about your pet’s oral health. We are dedicated to providing excellent care!

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