National Pet Dental Health Month
Health and advice22 February 2022National Pet Dental Health Month

National Pet Dental Health Month

February is National Pet Dental Health Month and its aim is to raise awareness of the importance of oral care for your pets. You may not know the importance of dental hygiene in dogs yet so we have put together some commonly asked questions and answers, general advice and a handy video on how to brush your dog’s teeth with step by step instructions. By the end of this article, you will be fully equipped to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.

Pointer laying on their back showing their teeth in a grimace smile

Commonly Asked Questions

1) How common are dental problems in dogs?

Around 70% of cats and dogs over three years old suffer from periodontal disease.

2) How often should I clean my dog's teeth?

My Family Pet vet Nicola Hartley advises that “in order to provide your pooch with the absolute pinnacle of preventative healthcare, you really ought to be brushing their teeth every day. As veterinary science has advanced over the years, it’s proven that dogs aren’t as invincible to the effects of poor dental hygiene as we once thought. In fact, 80% of dogs over the age of 3 will experience dental problems at some point – which I’m sure you’ll agree is quite crazy!”

3) What are the signs of dental disease?

Hartley explains that “One of the good aspects of dental disease is that it's easy to spot. The first clue is smelly breath – although this can be a sign that your dog just needs their teeth cleaning. If the condition is more advanced, symptoms may include a loss of appetite, bleeding gums, drooling or pawing at their mouth. As a responsible and loving dog owner, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking your dog’s mouth regularly. If they display any of these symptoms or if they’re reluctant for you to touch their mouth, teeth or gums, you should contact the vet as this is likely a sign of dental disease.”

4) Why do I need to clean my dog’s teeth, when they don’t in the wild?

According to Hartley “the life expectancy of a wild dog is 4 years old at most – far lower than what we expect for our domestic friends. Selective breeding has also altered the dental requirements of domestic dogs over time.”

5) How do I brush my dog’s teeth?

For a detailed step by step guide and a video showing how to get your dog used to regular brushing:

Hopefully, your questions have been answered about how to brush your dog's teeth and why it’s important. If you have any further questions or concerns, your vet or vet nurse will be able to give you advice on cleaning your dog’s teeth and answer any questions about the best equipment required for your specific pooch.

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