Say ahhhhh – our dogs have shocking tooth trouble.
More than 80 per cent of pooches over the age of three have gum disease or tooth problems, according to a study to mark National Pet Smile Month.
And while we know the importance of brushing and flossing, many owners neglect their pet’s gnashers.
Rebecca Spragg, expert at pet food firm Canagan, said: “Dogs don’t just rely on their mouths for eating and drinking, they also use them to pick things up and investigate, so it’s even more important to recognise the signs that something may be wrong sooner rather than later.”
Below is Canagan’s guide for better doggy dental care.
A dog’s teeth are not too different from a human’s, so if they start to discolour, get a vet to check them out.
■ Broken or loose teeth
Some dogs eat or chew things they shouldn’t, such as rocks and hard sticks, so check regularly for any broken or chipped teeth.
Gums should be nice and pink but plaque and tartar can cause irritation and even bleeding gums.
Some dog foods have ingredients designed to ward off plaque and prevention is always better than cure.
■ Bad breath
Dogs have an unfortunate reputation for bad breath and as an owner, you will notice if it is worse than normal.
If you’ve not changed their diet recently and it is smelling like rotten eggs, this could indicate gum disease, which your vet can diagnose.
■ Excess drooling
Some dogs are just droolers but if it is starting to become more noticeable, this could be an indication of something wrong inside their mouths.
■ Lack of appetite or a change in eating habits
Just like humans, dogs can go off their food if they feel ill or it’s painful to eat. See a vet if you notice any issues.