Top 5 Signs of Recognizing Dental Disease in your Pet

We all love our pets very much, and love snuggling and smooching with them but we know when we get close to their faces for a kiss sometimes it isn’t as pleasant as we would like it to be.

Dental disease is extremely common in pets since brushing their teeth isn’t always a routine for them unless we as owners are diligent on doing it for them. It is said that dental disease affects 87% of dogs and 70% of cats.

There are some straightforward signs to watch for in your pet to help catch the onset of early dental disease. Below is a list of all five symptoms as it is essential that our pet’s dental health is in excellent condition. Not only can it affect the health of their teeth but it can also affect their overall health as bacteria and infection can travel through their gums and bloodstream causing all kinds of dangerous issues if not caught and treated in time.

Top 5 Signs of Recognizing Dental Disease

1. Bad Breath
2. Loose teeth
3. Red or Bleeding Gums
4. Plaque or tartar build up
5. Not eating

Bad Breath: This is one of the most obvious as we don’t necessarily have to get right up close to them to smell that foul odour that may be coming from their mouth. A common misconception is that bad breath is just a regular sign of “doggie breath.” But in fact, the most frequent cause of bad breath is dental disease.

Loose Teeth: Your pet having any loose teeth is a sign that later stages of periodontal disease have occurred.

Red or Bleeding Gums: If your pet’s gums are red or bleed when they eat or are touched it could be a sign of advancing periodontal disease and or gingivitis. If the gums close to the base of the teeth are redder then the rest of their gum line this is a good early indication that your pet has gingivitis.

Plaque or Tartar build-up: A dark yellow or brown coating on your pet’s teeth is a build of plaque and tartar and can be a source of bacteria and infection in the mouth.

Not Eating: If your pet is reluctant to eat, or starts to become picky with their food and leaving the larger pieces behind it could be a sign of poor dental health as there may be pain associated with chewing causing the refusal to eat or refusal to eat the larger harder kibble. If your pet is showing any of these signs, please do not hesitate to contact our office and book your pets FREE dental exam.

Remember prevention is best and catching dental disease in the early stages can increase the chances of reversing the damage and preventing any further damage from occurring.

Written by Stephanie Schruder, Clinic Manager



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Last updated: December 14, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!



We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (Nutrition Centre Only)
Sunday: Closed


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Hillcrest Animal Hospital