Did you know that your dog needs dental care just like humans? Although dogs do not typically get cavities as often as people, it is still important to ensure that their mouths stay healthy and clean. Dirty mouths lead to the buildup of bacteria, as is the case in humans, and these bacteria can cause infections or more serious diseases. You should make it a practice to regularly brush your dog’s teeth, and take him in to an animal hospital in Columbus for an annual exam. As part of this exam, your vet should check your dog all over to make sure he’s healthy and free from disease. Part of this should include the gums and teeth, which tell the vet a lot about the dog’s overall condition.
Canine Oral Hygiene
One of the most common oral problems in dogs is gum disease. As they eat, food collects along the gum line and begins to attract bacteria to the area. It can also sometimes be caused by other diseases, so be sure to check your dog’s mouth if he’s been sick recently. The first sign of gum disease you will probably notice is bad breath. If it grows more severe, you may notice discoloration, bleeding, or an unwillingness to eat. If you see any of these signs, you should bring your dog to the vet to take care of the problem and make sure there are no other health problems affecting your pet. Usually if the vet decides the dog’s mouth is dirty enough, he will put the dog under anesthesia to thoroughly clean and examine it. You can find some veterinarians who will perform routine dental cleaning without anesthesia, but in most cases anesthesia makes the process safer and easier on both the veterinarian and the dog.
Keeping a Clean Mouth
After your dog’s mouth has been thoroughly cleaned, make sure to keep it that way. Any pet store should sell dog toothbrushes and toothpaste that is safe for them to use. If you think your dog may be more prone to dental problems than is normal, you may want to consider switching to dry food rather than canned, since canned food will often remain on the teeth and collect bacteria. Many companies also make special bones, toys and other products that are designed to clean your dog’s teeth as he chews them. Some of these work more or less effectively depending on the dog, so you may have to experiment a little to see what’s best for you. You can also bring your dog back to your animal hospital in Columbus for prophylactic dental cleaning, to keep his mouth as clean as possible.