Dental health in dogs

Mar 1, 2024 1:11:56 PM

Taking care of our dogs is one of the main ways we show our commitment and love. Oddly, dental attention isn’t always on our care list alongside the more obvious ones such as good diet, exercise, a comfortable place to sleep and plenty of affection. We recommend spending just a little time on our dog’s dental health each day, looking for any changes or indications of discomfort in their mouths, particularly their gums. Ask your vet to include a dental check when you attend for routine visits.


Dental disease is the number 1 health issue in dogs

It affects 80% of adult dogs

It affects 96% of dogs over the age of 12 years

Only 14% of dogs receive regular dental checks/care at a veterinary clinic

Only 2% of owners brush their pets' teeth daily (the gold standard)

Dogs are stoic animals so do not exhibit dental pain in the same way we do. Often more subtle signs like halitosis, calculus, drooling or rubbing their mouths can be early indicators of dental problems that owners either mistake as normal or miss completely.

What is dental disease?

Dental disease includes the following conditions within the mouth:

  • Tartar, the yellowish film on the tooth surface. This hardens into bacterial plaque in as little as 24 hours. That’s why daily brushing or using a daily dental chew is important.
  • Bacterial plaque can only be removed mechanically and not by brushing alone. If not removed it can lead to gingivitis.
  • Gingivitis symptoms are swelling/reddening of the gums and bleeding. If left untreated it can lead to periodontal disease.
  • Periodontal disease is irreversible and often leads to tooth extraction as bacteria destroys the gums. It can be extremely painful and, if left untreated, can cause systemic health issues such as heart, kidney, and liver disease.

How to prevent dental disease

The gold standard is daily brushing which is much easier to start when your dog is a puppy. A finger toothbrush rubbed gently along the gumline is a great start, moving onto a canine specific toothbrush when they are older. Getting your dog used to having their mouth looked at will help in the long term for routine vet visits and any other exploratory procedures that might be required.

We understand that brushing isn’t always convenient, especially if your dog is older, rescued or simply cannot tolerate it. A daily dental chew is another option to help keep on top of tartar removal.

Fractured teeth can also cause a lot of pain that your dog may not show. Dog’s enamel is only 0.1-1mm thick compared to humans, which is 2-3mm. Avoid allowing your dog to chew hard items. With their strong jaws, this can easily lead to slab fractures and cracked teeth.

Have regular dental check ups with your vet or groomer. Tooth extraction can be expensive as well as painful for your dog, so prevention is so important.

Talk to your Trophy Nutritional Adviser if you have any concerns about your dog’s teeth and oral health.


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