As you unpack your bag for a weekend with friends, you place the essentials on the bathroom counter. We have deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, a razor, and lastly, my… it’s not here. Your stomach sinks. You forgot a toothbrush. You gag thinking about the bacteria that will surely fester in your warm mouth. The feeling of “carpet tongue” and that thin layer of slime on each tooth. For you, it’s going to be a long, unhygienic weekend. You feel repulsed – but then you look down at your dog, Jack. At 3 years old he has never had his teeth brushed. Yes it’s true, dogs need their teeth brushed just like humans. So why do so many pet owners never once do so? How is this affecting your dog’s health?

Take this short quiz to see how much you already know about your pup’s oral hygiene.

With so many bones and treats claiming to clean teeth and freshen breath it can be all too easy to avoid actual brushing. These treats are great, our dogs love them, but they should only be used as a supplement to regular teeth brushing. Pet toothbrushes and toothpastes (mmm, meat flavored) are available at most superstores and all pet stores. Your veterinarian can do a more comprehensive exam of your pet’s mouth if they are having issues or present any or all of the following conditions:

  1. Consistent or worsening bad breath
  2. Broken/chipped teeth
  3. Discolored teeth
  4. Excessive chewing or drooling
  5. Reduced appetite
  6. Swelling/redness around the mouth

Poor oral conditions don’t just cause bad breath. Periodontal Disease is an infection of the mouth that can increase risk of complications like heart disease or organ damage. The constant bacterial breeding ground in your pet’s mouth causes this issue. The bacteria then enters the bloodstream and damages these organs. Periodontal Disease is far more common in smaller breeds like Yorkshire Terriers, Malteses, Boston Terriers, and Pekingese.

DO NOT give your dog mints or gum. They contain xylitol which is extremely deadly for canines even in small doses.

February is national pet dental month. Need a second opinion on your dog’s oral health? Perhaps your pup needs his teeth cleaned? Animal Care Clinic has been dedicated to the compassionate care of animals for over 30 years. We offer all veterinary services along with some specialized care techniques like acupuncture, chiropractic’s, therapeutic lasers treatment, and stem cells. To find out more about Animal Care Clinic, visit our website or give us a call at (812) 279-1216