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Caring for Your Dog’s Teeth

May 1 2021

Did you know that dental issues are one of the most common medical problems we see in dogs? Over 80 percent of pups over the age of three have some form of gum disease. Of course, gum disease isn’t the only issue Fido can face. Man’s Best Friend also can be afflicted by infections, abscesses, overcrowding, and cracked or broken teeth. A Bloomington, CA vet discusses caring for your pet’s choppers below.

Warning Signs

Fido can’t make himself an appointment, and he can’t tell you if his teeth hurt. Be on the lookout for warning signs. Some common ones are bad breath, drooling, tartar buildup, bleeding gums, and reduced interest in play.

Home Care

Brushing your canine buddy’s teeth is an excellent way to keep them clean. You’ll need to get your pooch onboard with the idea, so start slow. Just rub Fido’s gums and teeth lightly with your finger as you are petting him. Later, you can add a doggy toothpaste. Don’t use human products: many of our toothpastes contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Short and sweet is best here, especially during training. Also, be sure to offer a yummy snack, to help your four-legged friend form more ‘pawsitive’ associations with the process. Once your pup is used to this, you can add a doggy toothbrush. You can also use a finger toothbrush, or just wrap your finger in gauze.

Hopefully this goes without saying, but if your furry pal is prone to biting/aggression, you may want to look at other options. Dental treats and chews can also be beneficial, as are products such as dental flakes and oral rinses. Finally, make sure Fido always has fresh water and suitable chew toys.


We recommend that all dogs have their teeth checked at least once a year, starting at age one. You’ll also need to bring Fido in if he develops any of the symptoms noted above. If your pooch does have issues, your vet will be able to go over treatment options once a diagnosis has been made. Keep in mind that we’re not trying to give Fido a perfect smile. The concern is with issues that can cause other issues, such as pain, infections, and/or chewing difficulties.

Please contact us, your Bloomington, CA veterinary clinic, for any questions about your dog’s health or care. We’re here to help!

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