So you come home and Fido rushes up and gives you your first kiss you received today. Then you say, “Whoa Buddy! Did you just have lunch out of the garbage pail while I was gone?” This may be your first sign that something is just not normal in your best friend’s mouth, and he may be in some serious need of pet dental care.

A foul odor is just one of several signs and symptoms that your pet is lacking in the personal hygiene department. Just like his human owner, your pet can have the same signs and symptoms of dental issues, such as, tooth decay, tooth loss, plaque buildup, and bad breath, not eating and excess salivation. These signs may tell you that it may not just be that fish he ate for dinner. But don’t despair and decide to trade him in for that new cute talking Furbie at the nearest discount store. There are things you can do to improve his dental health and make the touching moments you love to share with him much more enjoyable for both of you.

The first thing on every owner’s checklist for their furry “kid” should be a checkup with a veterinarian. Most vets recommend bringing him in at least once per year, for a pet teeth care exam, cleaning, and dental checkup. The timeline for a checkup can vary, depending on your pets needs. Your vet will be able to look at those chompers, and just like your dentist, will be able to tell you in what kind of health his pearly whites are in. They will be able to do a complete dental exam, and if needed, administer anesthesia to do a more thorough exam and treatments, such as a deep cleaning under the gum-line, scaling or scraping to remove plaque buildup, and finishing up with putting a sparkling shine on your pets smile. If your vet finds any other concerns, such as broken teeth, he will be able to address them at this time.

Prevention and Maintenance

If your vet sends you both home with 5 stars, there are some things you can do at home to continue making sure his mouth stays healthy, and for you to continue to enjoy his love and affection. One of the best things is to get your dog a yummy chew in his favorite flavor. Your local pet store will carry a variety of healthy chews. For dogs and other pets, you can also keep their oral health in check by cleaning your pet’s teeth regularly with a pet toothbrush and toothpaste. Your local pet store will also carry mouth spray and water additives for pets, that aid in preventing plaque buildup.Visually inspecting your furry friend’s mouth may ward off more serious problems in the future

By following these simple tips, you and your fur baby should be able to enjoy many more ‘Lady and the Tramp’ dinners together for many years to come.