Easy-to-spot signs of dental problems in dogs (and how to prevent them)

Is your dog refusing to eat? Does she have bad breath? She might have dental problems that need to be addressed!

Symptoms like halitosis (bad breath) and pickiness around mealtimes might sound like common canine issues. But don’t ignore them! These signs are good indicators that your pup might be experiencing some dental problems. Whether it’s a fractured tooth or periodontal disease, it’s time to book an appointment with your vet. Let’s take a closer look at these symptoms and how you can prevent them before they manifest!

Bad breath and loss of appetite – when to be concerned

When it comes to periodontal disease in dogs, halitosis and a sudden loss of appetite are probably the easiest signs to spot. But when are bad breath and pickiness cause for concern?

If your pup’s breath starts to stink and she becomes suddenly hesitant to eat, take a peek at her teeth. If there’s a significant accumulation of tartar (yellow or brown scum on the tops of the teeth along the gumline), or if her gums are red and inflamed, it’s time to get her checked out by a professional.

Periodontal disease increases a dog’s risk of developing associated systemic diseases (i.e. heart, kidney or liver disease), so fast treatment is crucial. At the oral level, untreated periodontal disease can cause loss of teeth, secretions from possible infections and a lot of pain in and around the mouth.

Before it’s too late – how to prevent dental problems before they arise

Periodontal disease is a common diagnosis in the veterinary clinic. Small dogs are the most susceptible, though all dogs are at risk if the proper preventative measures aren’t taken.

It’s recommended that dogs have their teeth professionally checked at least once a year (twice is even better!). Feeding a raw diet or the occasional raw bone can help keep teeth clean, and regular brushing with a doggie toothbrush is beneficial.

Supplementation can also help prevent dental problems from arising in your canine companion. Antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, beta-carotene and resveratrol can help in the fight against periodontal disease by lowering oxidative stress, strengthening the immune system and keeping bacterial infections at bay.

If you spot signs of dental problems in your pup, your vet will help you determine the best course of treatment. But hopefully, with the proper preventative care, her teeth and gums will stay healthy her entire life!