Dog dental care

Taking care of your dog's teeth

While we’re good at brushing our own teeth, when was the last time you thought about brushing your dog’s? As our dogs can’t brush their own teeth or tell us when they’re in pain, they rely on us to look after their dental health.

Looking after your dog’s teeth

Oral disease is the largest health problem in dogs, with 60% experiencing some form of oral disease by the age of two years old. While dental problems can be extremely painful, dogs often don’t show outward signs of pain so it can be tricky to spot. However, if left untreated it can significantly reduce their quality of life and may cause other serious health conditions.

Prevention is key, and taking a few small steps can help to improve your dog’s dental health. These include brushing their teeth with pet-friendly toothpaste, a small, soft toothbrush, and providing the right diet.

Why do you need to keep your dog’s teeth clean?

The dangers of dental disease

While many problems are associated with poor dental health, one of the most common in dogs is periodontal disease. This begins with a build-up of plaque that when left to harden turns into tartar and causes painful gum inflammation and infection.

This makes eating and chewing toys very uncomfortable or painful, so a loss of appetite or hesitancy to play with toys could be an indicator of dental disease. You may always notice weight loss, eating on one side of the mouth, dropping food when eating, bad breath, tooth loss, and excessive drooling.

Book a complimentary dental check

Many of our practices offer complimentary dental checks for your pets. Find out more information here.

How to care for your dog’s teeth

Keep their diet healthy

When feeding your dog, it’s worth:

  • avoiding feeding them sugary or starchy treats. These encourage bacterial growth in plaque, which releases acid that can cause teeth to decay
  • feeding them dry food – dogs that eat this are less likely to suffer from dental disease in adulthood. That’s because the hard texture of the kibble helps remove plaque, and prevents food and bacteria gathering around the gum line.

Your Medivet vet can give you advice on a diet tailored for your pet.

Brush their teeth

Although not always easy, brushing your dog’s teeth is the most effective way to ensure they remain clean and plaque-free. There are a variety of pet toothpastes and brushes available. Talk to your vet about what would work best for your pet. It may sound obvious, but remember never to use human toothpaste as it’s toxic to animals.

The best time to attempt brushing your dog’s teeth is after they’ve had sufficient exercise and are calm and relaxed. If your dog becomes agitated and shows signs of stress, don’t continue; start slowly and increase the brushing time every day. Brushing is best done daily.

Occasionally provide dental chews

You can give your dog a dental chew every now and then as they help with bad breath and improve dental health, reducing tartar and plaque build-up. The act of chewing will massage your dog's gums and clean their teeth naturally. However, chews should be given sparingly and shouldn’t be used as a substitute for regular tooth brushing.

Take them for regular check-ups

No one is more qualified to clean your dog’s teeth than your vet. We offer free dental checks, and many of our practices also offer specialised dental clinics.

If you have any questions about your dog’s dental health or would like to find out more, contact your local Medivet practice.

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Book a complimentary dental check

Many of our practices offer complimentary dental checks for your pets. Find out more information here.

Medivet Healthcare Plan

Regular care that's always there. Our healthcare plan is a convenient way to give your pet the everyday care they need each year to stay happy and healthy.

*T&Cs: One complimentary dental check per pet. Not valid for pre-existing conditions. Any treatment, further tests, or examinations required will be chargeable at the standard rate. Medivet reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time without prior notice. For our full terms and conditions, click here.