Canine dental health is perhaps something you have not previously considered or had to worry about before. However, just like their human family members, their teeth and gums require additional care and medical support as dogs age. Some dog breeds are more predisposed to dental health issues than others, and certain medical conditions that a dog experiences earlier on in their lives can impact their teeth when they become elderly.
The good news is that you can take care of your senior dog’s teeth and gums and make a few minor adjustments to their diet to greatly improve their quality of life.
Does your dog have gum disease?
Many dogs live out their lives without ever having a single dental issue; other dogs are constantly in need of dental care. As with humans, dogs can experience a build-up of plaque and tartar on their teeth, leading to cavities, gum disease, and other medical complications.
There are many different gum disease symptoms that a trained veterinarian will be able to check for you. Some of the symptoms are bad breath, bleeding or swollen gums, decreased appetite and weight loss, only chewing on one side of the mouth, continually dropping food while eating, and a yellowish crust on the teeth, among other symptoms. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, you should ask your regular vet to do a dental check on your dog and see any other underlying health issues at play.
Regular dental care
One of the best things you can do to maintain your dog’s long-term dental health is regularly taking your dog to the vet. A registered Australian vet such as Greencross Vets will help you identify and solve any dental issues before they get worse. Greencross Vets will also be able to provide a comprehensive array of health checks and treatments for your senior dog so that they can be healthy, safe, and comfortable for as long as possible.
What you can do to boost your dog’s dental health
If your dog has gum disease or another dental health issue, your vet will be able to prescribe treatments or give your dog a procedure to solve the problem. However, you can also take several steps at home to increase your dog’s dental health, no matter how old the dog.
Although it may seem strange at first, making a regular practice of brushing your dog’s teeth will help them to manage plaque and tartar levels. Many dogs do not enjoy teeth brushing, but if you can turn it into a routine and reward them afterward, they will likely change their minds fairly quickly. You can also do a quick audit of your dog’s diet – diets that are well-balanced and meat-based tend to be best for canine dental health and limit unwanted oral bacteria.