Dog Mouth Problems

A well-trained dog will NOT bite you if you open his mouth with your hands. This is an important point to make, as there will be times when you need to check that all is well in his oral cavity.

How to Check Your Dog’s Mouth

Unlike humans, dogs don’t seem to mind ‘doggy’ breath. We love our pet dogs no matter what, but he sure does suffer from some classic stinky dog breath from time to time! Slightly smelly breath is natural in dogs, but if it is unbearable then he might have an infection.


Dog and bone healthy mouth and teeth
To do this, your dog's mouth and teeth need to be in top condition

A dog’s gums should be a pink colour, or dark for dogs with black coats. Red gums, white gums or bleeding gums are not healthy. Gently press against your dog’s gums with your finger to check if they are healthy – they should turn pale, and then quickly return to their normal color once you release the pressure.

Dogs can develop gum disease if chewed up food gets stuck at the bottom of their teeth. This can cause infection, which may cause the gums to recede. The most obvious symptom is foul-smelling breath.

If you suspect that your dog is developing gum disease you will need to arrange an appointment with your vet, as it can lead to further complications like tooth loss. Cleaning your dog’s teeth is the most effective method of preventing tooth decay and gum disease, so invest a couple of hours a week into brushing your dog’s teeth and gums, and give him regular chews made for the specific job of cleaning his teeth.

How To Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

You can brush your dog’s teeth regularly. You will need to introduce tooth brushing at an early age and continue on a regular basis so that it becomes a familiar, comfortable and enjoyable experience. Follow the same simple steps that you would take when brushing your own teeth, but only ever use toothpaste designed for dogs. Most human toothpaste contains fluoride, which is poisonous to dogs.


Dog toothbrush dogs teeth being cleaned with brush
You can buy doggie toothbrushes for this job, or you can ask your vet to do it for you

Dental chews are an additional or alternative method that your dog will really enjoy. Most of them are designed in the shape of a cross and with an abrasive texture, getting between the teeth and helping remove plaque. You’ll be amazed at how quickly some dogs can demolish their “denti-sticks”, but you’ll also be impressed at the disappearance of their ‘doggy’ breath!

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