Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Oral health is very important for both people and their pets. And as our dogs get older, it is especially important to be mindful of our dog’s teeth.

While there are a lot of options on the market for dental health, you may not know exactly what to look for or even what to get as your dog gets older. Senior dogs tend to have different needs from puppies and younger adult dogs.

Thanks Freshpet‘s expert veterinarian, Dr. Aziza Glass, we had the opportunity to get some insight into oral health for senior dogs. Specifically, we asked Dr. Glass what she recommends for dental health in older dogs, as well as what we should be paying attention to.

So what did she have to say?

Freshpet’s expert vet, Dr. Aziza Glass, offers up some oral health tips for senior dogs

oral health

Dr. Aziza Glass, expert veterinarian at Freshpet – the leading fresh pet food brand, shares some of the top ailments she sees visits for in the summertime and how you can avoid them.

First up let’s talk about one of the most obvious aspects of oral health for dogs and especially senior dogs, brushing their teeth. So what did Dr. Glass have to say about regular brushings?

Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is important – no matter what age they are. And it is never too late to start. If you have an older dog that hasn’t been exposed to regular tooth brushing, consider incorporating some positive reinforcements with treats like Freshpet’s Dog Joy Turkey Bacon to make the process a little tastier.

Finding the right toothbrush and toothpaste is key – you want to pick ones that are labeled “for dogs.” For toothbrushes, there is a wide variety that are available – including angled brushes or even ones that can fit on your fingertips. Just make sure that you pick one that is a good size for your dog and how you will be approaching brushing their teeth.

Even if your older dog doesn’t have teeth anymore, having good oral hygiene is still a must. You can gently brush their gums with a soft-bristle toothbrush or use oral rinses to ensure they still have good dental care.

On top of the normal brushings that we should be doing, dogs should also be getting annual dental exams, just like their humans. In fact, according to Dr. Glass, “On top of brushing their teeth, annual dental exams are important too – especially as they get older. Most pets over 3 years old have some degree of dental disease so it’s important to stay on top of their oral health.”

Your dog’s diet is also important. And it can have a major impact on your dog’s oral health as well.

Your dog’s overall health and having a strong immune system also contribute to their oral health. Having a good diet rich with vitamins and nutrients is essential. Consider feeding your pet fresh pet food – all of Freshpet’s recipes start with fresh, high-quality ingredients that are gently steamed to preserve the nutrients that are often lost in overprocessed foods like kibble. Additionally, Freshpet since it is fresh and steamed, Freshpet’s foods are a lot softer than kibble, which can be tough on your pet’s teeth.

Finally, let’s talk about what you should be looking out for. Obviously, it is important to pay attention to your pet. But sometimes we miss the signs of problems when we don’t really know what to look for. Luckily, Dr. Glass broke it down for us. So here’s what she tells us to be on the lookout for:

Bad breath is a key sign that something is wrong. Plaque can build up on the teeth and harden over time into tartar and the bacteria that lives in it can cause gum inflammation and lead to infection. If your pet has really bad breath, schedule an appointment with your vet so they can assess your pet’s teeth and determine if a professional cleaning is needed.

Another sign is discoloration of the teeth. If your pet’s teeth are a brownish or yellowish color, this could be tartar buildup or a tooth infection. It is important to get this checked out by your veterinarian to determine next steps.

If your pet has loose teeth or loses a tooth, that is another sign to schedule a visit to the vet.

Honestly, this is all important information and it is something that we should be paying attention to as our dogs get older. Dental health is just as important for dogs as it is for people and that means it is important to stay on top of things when it comes to oral health.


By admin