While you may not know it yet, dogs need dental care much in the same way humans do. Though they might not need to go to the dentist as often as their human counterparts do, dogs do need maintenance care for their teeth as well as treatment when something goes wrong. Get to know some of the ways that you can tell your dog needs dental care. Then, you can get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible when you notice a problem.
Your Dog Doesn't Want to Play with Toys Anymore
One of the ways that you can tell something is going on with your dog's teeth is if they stop wanting to play with their toys. Dogs use their mouths to play with toys. As such, if their teeth are hurting them, they will more than likely start showing less interest in playing with or chewing on their toys.
This can happen gradually or all of a sudden. It is important to keep an eye on your dog's toy-related behavior. When they do not play, even if you try to initiate tug-of-war or fetch, take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. They may be in severe dental pain that needs to be addressed right away.
Your Dog's Breath Smells Awful
Most people are not fond of dog breath on a good day. However, while their breath may smell like their food (or whatever else they may have eaten recently), their breath should not be awful all the time. If your dog's breath smells like death or hot garbage, you are all but guaranteed to have a problem.
This awful smell can come about as the result of cavities and dental rot. It could also be the handiwork of severe gum disease. All of these issues are treatable by a veterinarian. Rotten teeth or those with cavities can be pulled and gum disease can be treated with deep dental cleanings and antibiotics.
Your Dog Has a Broken Tooth
Another sign that your dog needs to see a veterinarian for their teeth is if you notice one of their teeth is broken. Dogs can break their teeth if they are chewing on something that they shouldn't be, like rocks. However, if their teeth are weak, even chewing a rawhide bone could damage a tooth.
The veterinarian will need to examine the tooth and determine if it is still viable (i.e. not so damaged that it needs to be pulled). Either way, it is important to see a vet in order to determine what caused the weakening of the tooth. If it was a nutritional deficiency or as the result of an unknown dental condition, your veterinarian can diagnose the problem and suggest a treatment protocol to help.
These signs are solid indicators that your dog is suffering from dental distress. Take your dog to a vet or animal hospital at the first sign of any such issue.