For most of us, going to the dentist is not the highlight of our week. Even so, we work up the motivation and make the appointment because we know the cost and temporary discomfort are worth it for good dental health.
We often do not view our dog’s dental health the same way. Since animals don’t have dentist offices in the wild, taking our dogs in for routine cleanings can seem silly. But regular dental cleanings are important for dogs’ overall health and wellness.
Why Dogs Need Their Teeth Cleaned
Dogs need their teeth cleaned for the same reason humans do—to help prevent oral diseases and damage to teeth and gums. A few dental issues dogs are susceptible to include:
These conditions make eating painful for dogs. Worse, the bacteria from gums and teeth can travel through your dog’s bloodstream and infect the rest of their organs, causing other health conditions.
How Often Should Dogs Get Their Teeth Cleaned?
So, how often should dogs have their teeth cleaned? You should take your dog to get a professional dental cleaning once a year, starting when your dog is two years old.
During the cleaning process, a veterinarian will put your dog under anesthesia and work to remove tartar and plaque build-up. Before and after the procedure, vets will take an X-ray of your dog’s mouth to identify any other potential issues.
Note on Dog Breeds
If your dog is a smaller breed, they may need to have their teeth cleaned more frequently. Small dogs are more prone to conditions like deformed teeth and misaligned jaws, which can cause more dental issues.
Tips For Caring for Dog’s Teeth Between Cleanings
While taking your dog for annual dental cleanings is a good step, it’s also important to practice dental care for your dog throughout the year. There are several relatively simple ways to do that:
Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth is especially important to help prevent plaque. Be sure to use veterinarian-approved dog toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Ready to schedule your dog’s next appointment? Animal Medical Center of the Antelope Valley provides dog dental services to help keep your canine companion happy and healthy.