Did you know that dental issues are very common in our canine companions? Keeping Fido’s choppers healthy is very important! Read on as a local Santa Rosa, CA vet offers a few tips on caring for your dog’s teeth.

Watch For Warning Signs

Fido can’t tell you if his teeth hurt, so it’s up to you to watch for red flags. Bad breath is a common one. Other warning signs include visible swelling or tartar buildup; bloody smears on toys or dishes; and heavy, bloody, or ropy drool. Your pet may lose interest in play, shy away from having his face touched, or act grumpy or withdrawn. You may also see some changes in your dog’s eating habits. Pups with dental issues may dribble food, take longer eating, start avoiding harder foods, or eat less than normal.

Have Fido’s Teeth Checked Regularly

Dental checkups are just as important for dogs as they are for people. We recommend having your pup’s teeth checked at least once a year, starting at age one. Of course, if you see any of the signs listed above, you’ll want to make an appointment right away.


The best way to keep Fido’s teeth healthy is to simply brush them. You’ll need to take some time to get your pooch used to the idea. Start by simply massaging his teeth and gums with your finger. Incorporate lots of praise and ear scritches, and some yummy treats. Next, you can start to incorporate pet toothpaste. (Note: never use human toothpaste on Fido: it isn’t safe for him.) The next step is to introduce a doggy toothbrush.

Dental Products

If Fido wants no part of having his teeth brushed, you have other options. Dental-formula treats, kibble, and chews can also help prevent tartar buildup. Oral rinses and dental flakes are beneficial as well. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Provide Proper Chew Toys

Chewing will also help keep your dog’s mouth healthy. It will keep Fido’s jaw muscles strong, and also promotes the flow of saliva. Make sure your canine pal always has plenty of chew toys.


Water is of course important for many reasons, but it’s absolutely crucial to keeping your furry buddy’s mouth healthy. Make sure Fido always has clean water.

Do you know or suspect that your dog has dental troubles? Contact us, your Santa Rosa, CA vet clinic, today!