Common Signs of Doggy Dental Issues

Did you know that dogs can suffer from a variety of dental problems? Just like people, Fido can be afflicted by gum disease, abscesses, misalignments, and other painful issues. Your canine buddy can’t call the dentist to make an appointment, so it’s up to you to watch for warning signs. In honor of National Pet Dental Health Month, which is February, a local Minnetonka, MN vet lists some symptoms of doggy dental trouble below.

Bad Breath

Fido is definitely better known for his loyalty, intelligence, and fondness for bacon than for his fresh breath. However, stinky breath is often indicative of dental trouble in dogs. If your pup’s affectionate kisses make you wince, contact your vet.

Tartar Buildup

That icky buildup on your pet’s teeth isn’t just unsightly: it’s also often a sign of gum disease. In fact, over 80 percent of adult dogs have some form of periodontal disease. This is very dangerous, because the bacteria can travel from Fido’s mouth to his major organs, and can contribute to some very serious health issues.

Less Playfulness

Is Fido not acting as playful as he once did? If your furry buddy is ignoring his favorite toys, dental issues could be to blame.

Different Eating Habits

If you’ve ever tried to chew with a toothache, you know it isn’t much fun. Keep an eye on Fido’s eating routines. If he starts preferring soft food, taking longer to eat, or eating less, he could be having trouble with his teeth.


Just like people, dogs can get grouchy when they don’t feel well. If Fido seems, well, a bit cranky lately, contact your vet immediately. This can be an indication of dental trouble, but it can also be a symptom of other medical issues.


Most dogs should have their teeth checked by a vet at least once a year. In between visits, keep up with your canine buddy’s home care. Brushing is the best way to keep Fido’s teeth clean. Be sure to use only pet products, as human toothpastes and toothbrushes are not safe for dogs. Dental-formula treats, kibble, and chews can also help. Also, make sure your pet always has fresh water and lots of chew toys. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you know or suspect that your pooch needs his teeth cleaned? Contact us, your Minnetonka, MN animal hospital, anytime!

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