Everyone, including pets, develops tartar on their teeth. If left, gum infection (gingivitis) devolps, which causes gum recession which in turn, causes loose teeth with the short-rooted small front teeth being lost first. Before this a pet will be uncomfortable and have difficulty chewing. We try to avoid this scenario by scaling your pets teeth to remove tartar, when necessary. This results in a healthy mouth once more. In most dogs this need done around 9-11 years of age, though some small breeds of dogs need this form 4-5 years old. Always worse with a soft-only diet as chewing larger food pieces, or chews made for the purpose, cause the soft tartar to be removed before it sets to the hard shell which will develop and so slow the process down. Daily brushing will also reduce tartar production, but it will still happen, though more slowly, just as happens with us. You must use a proprietary pet tooth paste made for the purpose.
Dogs and cats benefit from special chew toys but also specialised premium dry foods which help remove or prevent tartar. This attribute along with others is seen in the vet-only Hills Veterinary-Essentials range of dog and cat food. As it has no inert fillers, you need less volume so the bag goes further than you think which means the price per meal is very competitive, as well as it reducing tartar formation.
Regular checks throughout life will ensure a healthy mouth. When your dog or cat becomes 8-10 years old, they frequently will require dental treatment in the form of teeth scale and polish. If any teeth are loose or diseased, they have to be extracted, but seeking help early will prevent extractions.
If you have an older pet with bad breath, we can help! We use ultrasonic scalers for dental care at all surgeries. Your pet must come in for the day, when the work is done under anaesthetic. Underlying gum disease can reduce a dog or cat's general vitality, cause discomfort or even pain. Every dog or cat will need two or more dental treatments in their life - it's not your fault! Just as you need your teeth scaled, so do they - that way you avoid more serious gum disease.
You are welcome to phone for a FREE appointment at a nurse clinic for a dental check.
Here you can see a younger dog with good clean teeth. Notice the dark pigment on the gum of this black labrador. Your dog may not have this, though black spots and patches are common here, just like freckles!
See this article from DentalVets regarding chews for dogs - CLICK HERE