NBC 7's Dagmar Midcap speaks with Dr. Brook Niemiec about doggy dentistry and the steps pet owners can take to ensure their pup's mouth is healthy.
Does your dog have a healthy mouth? Odds are against it – no matter how cute that doggie smile might be.
At least that’s according to world-renowned veterinary dental specialist Dr. Brook Niemiec.
“Current studies are that 90 percent of dogs at just one year of age already have gum disease,” Dr. Niemiec told NBC 7.
Dr. Niemiec, who is based in San Diego, said the problem with dogs and dental disease is that the dogs suffer in silence.
“When they get an infection they simply don’t show us that they hurt, or when they get an infection it comes on slowly and gets worse and worse,” he said.
If not spotted early bad teeth can lead to big problems. According to Dr. Niemiec, oral problems in
dogs can also result in eyesight loss, cancer, diabetes and other serious health issues.
So what can dog owners do to help keep their pet’s mouth healthy?
For starters, brush your dog’s teeth. Brush daily and start brushing when your dog is a puppy.
Dr. Niemiec said another important aspect is to find a veterinary dental specialist.
“What most pet owners don’t understand about dentistry in their animals is that clients’ perception is just cleaning, scaling and polishing. However, a true dentist is scaling above and below gums, giving a full mouth evaluation and charting the mouth. It’s a full on medical procedure with X-rays, without X-rays you miss a lot,” he explained.
What kind of toys and treats you give your pet also play a huge part in their oral health.
To see which popular doggie toys and treats are good for pooches and which may be a risk, watch this video.