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7 signs of pet dental issues

Dental care for our dogs is so important, yet so often overlooked. Here are some things to look out for, and ways to prevent dental issues in the first place.
7 signs of pet dental issues

Is your dog over three-years-old? If so, they have a significant chance of already having dental disease. 

Poor dental health and gum disease are so common that the British Veterinary Dental Association says most dogs over three have gum disease needing treatment.

According to The Royal Veterinary College, periodontal disease affects a staggering over 90% of adult dogs!

Because just like our own teeth, our pet's teeth can develop a build-up of plaque which, if left untreated, can become tartar - a hard substance made up of bad bacteria. This build up on the teeth will eventually cause gingivitis, which will give your pet red, swollen gums that can sometimes bleed and cause a bad odour from the mouth.

Gingivitis can allow bacteria to travel through the blood stream and, in extreme cases, has been known to cause heart and kidney problems. 

The following are signs there may be a problem with your pet’s mouth:

  • Smelly breath
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Yellow crusty build up on the teeth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Dropping food from the side of the mouth
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss

Robin Hargreaves, Senior Veterinary Adviser at Agria Pet Insurance, explains: “Our dogs should be with us into their teens, but the animals they evolved from didn’t live anything like to this age – and so their teeth are not designed for longevity.

"Left uncared for, the likelihood is that they will deteriorate, giving your dog gum disease and mouth and gum pain. But by simply encouraging our dog to to chew on something appropriate to use their teeth, that won't break or splinter, can really help to keep the surfaces clean.

“Owners can also get into the habit of cleaning their dog’s teeth - which is not that daunting once you both get the hang of it. Start as early as you can so it’s not scary and they get used to it from a young age, and reward them afterwards. Cleaning dogs’ teeth is effective and helps to keep the tartar down – which otherwise traps food against the gums, erodes them back and causes infections.”

With dental disease being so common, it often comes as a shock to owners how few pet insurers provide cover for it, making it impossible to claim for treatment should it be required. Fortunately, for those insured with Agria Pet Insurance, treatment for dental disease, illness and injury is included, helping owners to access any treatment their pet might need before problems become more serious.

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