Dog Dental Health

Dental disease is the most common problem treated in dogs and cats, and also the area where owners can do a lot to encourage a healthy mouth throughout an animals life.

Puppies should get used to their owners looking in their mouth and brushing their teeth. As a young pups gums can be tender until about 6 months old, it is best just to rub their gums with finger-tips until they get used to their mouth being handled.

After 6 months of age proper brushing can be started with either a specially shaped dog brush or finger brush (like a thimble) and dog toothpaste. Ideally this should prevent hard tartar forming which would lead to dental problems. Other useful dental aids are:

  • Dry Food - daily crunching, do not soften with water
  • Dental Chews - plenty of choice, dog should gnaw, not gulp down
  • Dental Gels - a small amount is rubbed or brushed onto teeth and gum margins to destroy the bacteria which cause gingivitis.

Common Dental Problems

  • Retained deciduous (baby) teeth
  • Badly aligned top and bottom jaws
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Abscesses
  • Broken teeth
  • Tumors

We include a free dental check at 6 months of age as part of the puppy vaccination course, and we advise a free check 3 months after dental treatment. Pets will have their mouths checked as part of their yearly booster vaccination visit, and appointments can be made at any time if you notice a problem, and are free with one of our nurses.

If your dog does require further dental attention, most dental procedures require a general anesthetic and are carried out as day patients.