Let's Talk About Why Dog Dental Health is Essential

by Sarah Seward-Langdon on March 07, 2023

Let's Talk About Why Dog Dental Health is Essential

Written by: Sarah Seward-Langdon

Published on: 03/05/2023

If you weren’t aware, National Pet Dental Health month has just wrapped up for the month of February. To celebrate it, we wanted to bring some attention to your pet's pearly whites!

Dental health is a critical aspect of a dog's overall health and well-being. Regular dental care can help prevent a variety of health problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections, which can cause pain, discomfort, and even systemic infections.

So in the spirit of Pet Dental Health Month, this article will dive into why it’s essential to care for your dog’s teeth and gums, as well as outline five ways to improve a dog's oral hygiene.

Why is Dental Health Important for Dogs?

Prevents Pain and Discomfort

No one wants to hear their dog is in pain! But most people also don’t think of poor dental hygiene being a serious cause of pain. This isn’t true…

Poor dental health can cause a dog to experience pain, discomfort, and even difficulty eating. When tartar and plaque build up on a dog's teeth, it can cause gum inflammation, which can lead to receding gums, tooth loss, and periodontal disease. Any of these oral health conditions can cause significant pain and discomfort for dogs, making it difficult for them to enjoy normal activities [1].

So, be careful—sometimes signs of slowing down, lethargy or smaller appetites aren’t because of your dog growing older. Instead, your dog could be suffering from pain due to poor dental hygiene.

Reduces the Risk of Systemic Diseases

As you may have picked up on already, dental health is not only important for a dog's oral hygiene, but it also affects their overall health. Beyond feeling pain in their mouths, poor dental hygiene has been linked to several systemic diseases, including kidney, liver, and heart disease [1].

By maintaining good dental health, owners can reduce the risk of these serious health problems in their dogs. It’s always better to start paying attention to your dog’s dental health earlier, as prevention is easier than treatment!

Improves Breath

You may love your dog’s kisses, but most owners we talk to don’t love their dog’s bad breath. However, this stinky problem shouldn’t just be brushed aside as a normal thing for dogs!

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common sign of poor dental hygiene. If it gets very serious, it can make it unpleasant to be around a dog—even if no dog kisses are involved [2].

Regular dental care can help prevent bad breath, keeping a dog's breath smelling fresh and clean.

Increases Longevity

Maintaining good dental hygiene can increase a dog's lifespan. By preventing oral infections and other health problems, owners can help their dogs live longer, healthier lives.

Symptoms of Bad Dental Hygiene in Your Dog

If you’re worried about your dog having dental disease, here are some symptoms you should watch out for [2] [3]:

  • Discolouration of teeth

  • Broken or loose teeth

  • Bad breath

  • Bleeding or in pain

  • Loss of appetite or refusal to eat/drink

  • Drooling

  • Swelling in areas around the mouth

Is your dog experiencing any of the above? If you answered yes, it’s time to visit your vet and have them check your dog. Don’t skip out on this part, because it’s important to know what is ailing your dog. Depending on your individual dog, your vet will recommend the best course of action!

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5 Ways to Fight Doggy Dental Disease

Brush their Teeth Regularly

Brushing a dog's teeth regularly is the most effective way to maintain good dental hygiene. Using a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste, owners can gently brush their dog's teeth once or twice a week to help remove plaque and tartar buildup.

We recommend starting to brush your dog's teeth at a young age to get them used to the routine. If they’re not very receptive, start by first having your hands around their mouth, then make it normal for you to touch their teeth and gums. Do the same thing slowly with a toothbrush to get them used to it.

If your dog is especially grumpy about teeth brushing, there are flavoured toothpastes out there—this toothpaste will be your best friend!

Provide Dental Chews and Treats

Dental chews and treats can help improve a dog's dental health by promoting chewing and scrubbing their teeth. These products are specially formulated to clean teeth and freshen breath, and they are an easy and convenient way to help maintain good oral hygiene.

Dental chews and treats are easy to find at regular pet stores. However, remember that treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet. If you’re looking for professionally-backed dental chews, check with your vet as many clinics sell great options.

Feed a Nutritious Diet

Feeding a balanced, nutritious diet can also help improve a dog's dental health. Hard kibble can help remove plaque and tartar as a dog chews, and certain types of food have been shown to have a positive impact on a dog's oral hygiene [4].

Depending on your dog’s current dental health and diet, you can work with your vet to make any improvements possible. Think things like mixing in different types of food, adding in supplements like camelina oil, or even getting them onto a specific dental diet sold at vet clinics!

Regular Dental Exams

Regular dental exams by a veterinarian can help catch any dental problems early, allowing for prompt treatment to prevent more significant health issues down the line. During a dental exam, a veterinarian will assess a dog's teeth and gums, and they may recommend cleaning or extractions as necessary.

Tip: If you’re getting your dog spayed or neutered later, then you can ask if they’ll do a dental cleaning at the same time. As long as the original surgery is one that uses anesthetic, you’ll be saving some money since teeth cleaning is usually pricey due to the anesthetics.

Provide Toys for Chewing

Chewing is an essential activity for dogs, and it can also help improve their dental health. By providing toys for chewing, owners can encourage their dogs to engage in this natural activity, helping to keep their teeth clean and strong.

It doesn’t hurt that chewing is also mental stimulation! Whether you’re giving your dog a dental chew, raw bone, or toy for chewing, they’ll enjoy it. They may even be conked out enough to pass on the evening walk!

Let’s All Promote the Importance of Dental Health

We hope that the main point is clear: your dog’s dental health is essential to your dog’s overall health, so don’t ignore it!

By following the five tips outlined above, owners can help maintain good oral hygiene, prevent pain and discomfort, and reduce the risk of systemic diseases. Ultimately this will help increase a dog's lifespan.

As mentioned above, regular dental exams by a veterinarian are also important, allowing for early detection and treatment of any dental problems. By investing in your dog's dental health, you can ensure that your furry friend will enjoy a long, healthy, and happy life.

Camelina Oil for Equine

✅ Single ingredient, 100% pure Camelina Oil.
✅ Non-GMO
✅ Ideal balance of Omega-3 compared to other products, like soybean oil.
✅ Canadian produced and operated.

Camelina Oil for Canine


✅ Single ingredient, 100% pure Camelina Oil.
✅ Non-GMO
✅ Ideal balance of Omega-3 compared to other products, like soybean oil.
✅ Canadian produced and operated.


[1] 10 Facts You Need to Know to Protect Your Pet’s Oral (and Overall) Health | American Animal Hospital Association https://www.aaha.org/your-pet/pet-owner-education/aaha-guidelines-for-pet-owners/dental-care/ 

[2] 5 Reasons Why Dog Dental Care Is Important | PetMD


[3] Pet Dental Care | American Veterinarian Medical Association https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/pet-dental-care 

[4] The Importance of Dental Care for Dogs | American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/the-importance-of-dental-care-for-dogs/

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About Sarah

Sarah is a marketing specialist with a passion for anything creative! Her openness to working across industries and job opportunities has allowed her to gain enormous amounts of experience in graphic design, video production, and written content creation. Animals have a special place in her heart as she grew up with cats and now owns her own Alaskan Malamute. She has spent the last couple of years in Vancouver working with different companies within the pet industry and gained valuable knowledge about the ins and outs of the (alternative) pet food industry, supplementation, and various training methods. When she’s not digitally creating content for pet lovers to consume, she’s out eating great food, dancing at drop-in classes, or exploring the beautiful Canadian scenery with her fur-child Miso.