Doggy Dental Care 101

Does your dog’s breath kill houseplants? If so, your pooch may have dental troubles. Bad breath is often a sign of dental issues in our canine pals. These problems are no more fun for Fido than they are for us! Here, a London, ON vet discusses doggy dental trouble.


Fido can’t tell you if his teeth hurt, so it’s important for you to watch for symptoms. As noted above, bad breath is often a sign of dental trouble in dogs. Other common symptoms include bloody, stringy, or excessive drool; visible tartar buildup; and bloody spots on your furry buddy’s toys and bowls. Fido may also chew on one side of his mouth, take longer eating, or start preferring softer foods. You may notice your pet acting uncharacteristically grumpy. Reduced interest in play is another red flag.

Common Issues

Gum disease is one of the most common dental troubles we see in dogs. In fact, over 80 percent of our canine buddies have some form of this disease. This is very concerning, because gum disease can contribute to some very serious health issues, such as heart disease. Other common doggy dental woes include abscesses and infections. Fido also crack or even break his choppers by biting or chewing things.


If you notice any warning signs, schedule a veterinary appointment right away. Treatment options may range from a simple cleaning to extractions or other procedures. Keep in mind that the focus of doggy dental treatments isn’t to give Fido a perfect, pearly-white grin: it’s to treat problems that can cause pain and/or infections. Ask your vet for more information.

Home Care Tips

The best way to help keep your furry pal’s mouth healthy is to brush his teeth. At first, just rub your dog’s gums and teeth with your finger, to get him used to the idea. Then, you can start incorporate pet toothpastes and toothbrushes. You don’t have to do your pup’s entire mouth daily: even doing one segment a day will benefit him. If Fido isn’t having it, ask your vet for tips on using oral rinses or dental-formula treats and chews. These can also help keep your canine friend’s mouth healthy. Finally, make sure your pooch always has fresh water and suitable chew toys.

Do you suspect your dog has dental issues? Call us, your London, ON veterinary clinic! We’re here to help!

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