Warning Signs Your Dog Needs A Teeth Cleaning

Taking care of your dog's dental health needs is important, but even families that maintain a regular schedule may see indications that a teeth cleaning is required now. Periodontal disease appears in pets five times as often as in humans. Looking out for these four warning signs may help you and your pup head off bigger problems.

Bad Breath

Dogs obviously have a reputation for breath that doesn't smell great, but you'll notice the difference between your canine's regular breath scent and something out of the ordinary. If your dog will let you, lift up its lip to see if there are indications of more serious trouble, such as a rich red or purple-black color on the gums. A professional can perform a dog teeth cleaning and check for other potential problems at the same time.

Avoiding Hard Food

A sensitive tooth may be the product of need a dog teeth cleaning is in the near future, and the first sign may be that your pup is avoiding hard food. It's easier for pet families to dismiss this as picky eating behavior, but it's wise to keep an eye on any sudden shifts in food preferences, especially if the dog is leaning toward softer foods. Hard dog foods act as cleaning agents that keep plaque from forming on teeth, and you want a pet to be consuming hard food regularly. In extreme cases, your dog may even outright refuse to eat anything.


Some breeds of dogs slobber more than others, but you should have a good sense of what is or isn't normal for yours. Excessive drooling is often produced when an animal's body is trying to fight an oral infection, such as gum disease or an abscess. You may see your pet pawing at its mouth, or it may pant even while the weather is cool. If you can see visible yellowing of the teeth, then it's time for a cleaning.


Animals in the wild rarely make loud expressions of pain, and you should be alert to any type of whining that indicates your dog might be hurting. If whining particularly occurs before, during or after eating, that should be taken as a sign that your pet needs to go to a professional. The solution may be as simple as a dog teeth cleaning, but regardless of what the answer is, it's wise to have a look.