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Many dog owners may not give much thought to the condition of their dog’s teeth but they should. A yearly visit to the doggy dentist is a part of maintaining the overall health of your dog, just as it is for humans. (Note: your vet is qualified to do most canine dental work – let him or her recommend a specialist if necessary.) Teeth are teeth, be they yours or the dogs, and they require periodic check-up and maintenance. The sooner in a dog’s life you become aware of the need for regular visits to the doggy dentist the healthier your dog will be over the span off their life.
Puppies and young adult dogs do not require much in the way of dental health, but as the dog approaches midlife and beyond it is important to pay attention to the condition of their teeth and gums. While visits to the doggy dentist are not going to be much of an issue during these early years it is still a good idea to take the dog in for a check when a pup and at least once more around the age of four or five years old. This way if there are any issues developing you can get a head start on dealing with them.
If you have never brushed your dog’s teeth it is never too late to begin. Use only soft bristle tooth brushes at first until your dog becomes use to having his teeth brushed and then switch to a harder bristle brush for better removal of tartar build-up. Also NEVER use tooth paste made for humans. There are special tooth pastes made specifically for canines and your local pet supply store will have these.
Indications your dog is have teeth issues will be bleeding of the gums, loose or missing teeth, bad odors, and abscesses in the mouth. You can often tell if these are present simply by the smell of the dog’s breath, which is going to be quite bad if this is the case. These teeth problems can be just as painful for your dog as they would be for you, so if you see any of these signs immediately get your dog to the vet, who is also normally skilled to perform any required dentistry.
If there are tooth problems your dog is going to have to be put under so the vet can work without fear of being bitten. He or she will run tests to be certain this is not going to endanger the dog, and if the tests come back ok your pooch is going to get his million dollar smile back.
Our dog’s teeth are probably more important to him than ours are to us because we can get implants and dentures, but old Rover is not so lucky. Take him to the doggy dentist and keep him chomping away.
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