Did you know that dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats? Approximately 85% of dogs and cats have some form of this disease and are vulnerable to the pain, bad breath, and tooth loss that can follow. Dental disease can spread to the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys where it can do even more damage. Elderly pets are even more likely to have oral disease and suffer from its problems.
Dental disease can spread to the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys where it can do even more damage. Elderly pets are even more likely to have oral disease and suffer from its problems.
What can you do about it? To keep your canine smiling well into old age, expert veterinarian Dr. Kristin Andrews shares tips to keep your precious pups’ teeth in tiptop shape.
Tips For Healthy Teeth and Gums in Elderly Dogs
Get a Visual Assessment of Your Dog’s Teeth and Gums
Try to check your pet’s teeth and gums monthly. Are the gums red and inflamed? Do they bleed if touched? Do you see any lumps or growths? Are the teeth discolored? Does the breath smell? If you notice any of these issues, then it’s time for a trip to the vet!
Regular Checkups with the Vet are Important
Vets can detect things with a trained eye that you may not have noticed. As a vet, I recommend that all pets have a good physical examination done by your veterinarian every 6 months and if it’s been longer than that, it’s time to schedule an appointment.
Don’t Skimp on Home Dental Care For Your Dog
Do you brush your dog’s teeth daily? Once a week or once a month at the groomers is not enough! A dog’s teeth are exactly the same as humans. Imagine if we only brushed our teeth once a week—our breath would smell awful and our teeth would quickly accumulate plaque and tartar. The same goes for your pet! Can’t brush your dog’s teeth? There are plenty of other options such as Minties Dental Treats, which can be very useful in reducing plaque and tartar buildup and freshening their breath. There are oral rinses, drinking water additives, dental toys, and dental food. If your pet doesn’t want to chew on anything hard, it could be an indication that there is pain and discomfort, and it’s time to see the vet.
Get Your Dog Routine Dental Cleanings At the Vet
I know you may be concerned with putting your pet under general anesthesia but by not taking care of those teeth as recommended, you are putting your pet at risk for severe pain and discomfort, tooth loss, and even heart, liver, and kidney disease which can be life threatening. Not only that, but without having those teeth cleaned when needed, you could eventually wind up in a situation where your pet requires a dental cleaning that is much more expensive- not only in dollars but in loss of teeth that require extraction. I’ve sadly seen many pets needing 10, 14, 20, or all of their teeth extracted due to advanced dental disease.
Your elderly dog doesn’t have to be a statistic! Avoid painful and life threatening dental disease with regular dental care at home, dental treats, and regular checkups at your veterinarian.