Pet dental health

The importance of Pet Dental Health Month

The objective of pet dental health month is to make pet owners aware of the importance of their pets oral health.

Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth and giving them a healthy diet and plenty of chew toys can help keep their mouths healthy. Did you know that a large percentage of dogs can show signs of gum disease by the age of four?

Below are some top tips to look after your dog’s oral health.

Breath test

Sniffing your dog’s breath, it is normal for doggie breath to not be fresh-smelling. However, if it has a really offensive smell and your dog has lost its appetite, is drinking excessively, urinating a lot or vomiting. It is certainly a sign that you should take your dog to the vet to get checked out.

Examining the teeth & gums

Once a week, you should examine your dog’s teeth and gums. Gums should be pink, not red or white and there should be no signs of swelling. Your dog’s teeth should be clean without any brownish tartar.

Signs of oral disease

Signs that your dog could be suffering from a mouth or gastrointestinal issue are:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Gums which are inflamed
  • Tumours in the gums
  • Cysts underneath their tongue
  • Loose teeth

Tooth decay

Bacteria and plaque-forming foods over time can cause build up on your dog’s teeth. Over time this hardens into tartar, which can cause gingivitis, receding gums and even tooth loss.

You can buy a toothbrush especially for dogs, your vet will be able to advise you on this and toothpaste which is specially made for canines. A special mouthwash is also available to ask for details.

Brushing techniques

Yes, there is a brushing technique for cleaning your dog’s teeth. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth and clean in small circular motions. You need to work one area of your dog’s mouth at a time, lifting their lips if necessary. Generally, the side of the tooth which touches the dog’s cheek tends to have the most tartar, giving a downward stroke can help to remove it. Once you get the technique right try to brush two to three times per week.


Chew toys can help satisfy your dog’s natural desire to chew, at the same time helping to make their teeth strong. By gnawing on a chew toy can also help to massage the gums and help scrape away soft tartar. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best toys and chews for this.


Specially formulated dry foods can help reduce the formation of plaque and tartar. Also, special treats are available which are formulated to keep your dog’s teeth healthy, again your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise on the best products for this.

How we can help here at Orchard House Vets

We have invested in the latest equipment to provide patients with an excellent level of dental care.

With our new digital dental X-ray systems, an x-ray can be taken immediately to diagnose any problems hopefully before they arise.  In addition, this allows us to view the crown of the tooth and root structure including the overall health of the tooth itself and its surrounding area. Furthermore, dental radiographs are taken where necessary in order to reduce any complications ensuring your pet gets the optimal dental care.

Finally, our vast amount of equipment for dental care includes a high-speed drill, low-speed polishing device, which has ultrasonic scaling capabilities and hand instruments for all sizes of pets large or small.