Dental Health – it’s really important

Looking after our pets’ teeth can be hard- they won’t have them brushed, they don’t eat the right things, some don’t like chewing etc. etc. But without looking after their teeth they can soon run into problems. Imagine what your teeth would look like if you neglected them- that can happen to them too.

Some dogs and cats never seem to have issues- they chew, eat the right things and genetically have better teeth and saliva. Some dogs and cats are at the opposite end of the spectrum – and some breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers and Greyhounds seem really badly affected.

Over the coming weeks I’m going to write a series of articles on what can go wrong and what we can do about it. But first we need to know where to look!

“Lift the lip”

Next time you see your pet, lift their lip and have a look at their canine teeth. Are they nice and white, or do they have any yellowing? Can you look at the opposite side? Once you’ve done that try pulling their lips further back to look at the big teeth at the back. Are gums pink or red? If your pet’s breath smells then that’s a sign something isn’t quite right.

Early stage tartar and calculus

If you’re uncomfortable doing this then watch out for a video I’ll be putting up very soon on how to do this, or simply bring them in for a free nurse consult to show you how to do it.

If your dog or cat is really reluctant to show you their teeth, train them to be still whilst you handle their mouths- early life desensitisation is best but most pets will tolerate it with minimal training. If you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean its not there, and you can’t do anything about it.

As you’ll see, poor dental health is one of, if not the, major cause of poor general health and pain in older pets. It’s easy to prevent problems, and can be hard to fix.

So, go on. Lift the lip and see what’s going on and I’ll see you in the next article!