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Pet Dental FAQs from Our Local Gary Veterinarian

Gary veterinarian Dr. Larson and the rest of his team at Glen Park Animal Hospital are honored to provide the Gary, Hammond, and Merrillville, Indiana communities with excellence in veterinary care. Our pet dental services are among the most important services we offer--read on to learn more!

Family enjoying time with their pet dog.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Dental Services with Our Veterinarian in Gary

How important is my pet's dental health, anyway?

Extremely important! Like humans, a pet's dental health is strongly correlated with overall wellness. Dental disease, including tooth infection and periodontal (gum) disease, can cause significant pain and stress to your animal. Bacteria (which tend to cling to a plaque that builds up on teeth) can also leech into your pet's bloodstream, and may cause infection elsewhere in your pet's body. In the most severe cases, this can lead to organ failure and even death! 

How often should I bring my pet in for a pet dental exam?

You should plan to bring your pet in for a dental exam at least once a year. If you notice any signs or symptoms of a tooth or gum problem, you should also call our Gary vet team right away. 

It's important to remember that even if your pet isn't exhibiting any signs or symptoms of a dental health problem, you should still bring your animal in for a dental exam and cleaning. It's not unusual for dental issues to develop for a long time before any signs or symptoms show up. Regular exams and cleanings is the best way to detect early warning signs of a gum or tooth problem and even help prevent an issue from developing at all. This will save you time, money, and stress--not to mention sparing your pet the pain and discomfort associated with a dental health issue!

What are the signs and symptoms of pet dental disease?

These may include swollen, red, and/or bleeding gums; receding gum line; dropping food, difficulty chewing, or chewing only on one side of the mouth; decreased interest in food; loose, broken, or discolored teeth; and bad breath.

How should I prepare my pet for a dental exam?

Because your pet will be put under anesthesia during the dental exam, our vet team will ask you to refrain from feeding your pet for at least 12 hours prior to the appointment. You may want to bring a comfy blanket for the ride home. We'll also give you plenty of information on how to monitor your pet after the appointment to ensure it recovers normally from the anesthesia.

Why will my pet be put under anesthesia during a pet dental exam and cleaning?

General anesthesia is a safe and effective way to keep your pet comfortable and still during the dental exam. This allows our team to more thoroughly inspects and cleans your pet's teeth and gums, especially in those hard-to-reach areas. 

How can I keep my pet's teeth and gums healthy in between vet visits? 

You have several options! We recommend brushing your pet's teeth at least a couple times per week, using pet-safe toothbrushes and toothpaste. We also encourage pet owners to always provide fresh water and vet-approved chew toys to encourage healthy chewing. Our team can give you tips and tricks on how to brush your pet's teeth and answer any other questions you may have about your pet's health. 

Is your pet due for a dental exam?

Contact our Gary veterinarian team today at 219-980-4944 for more information and to schedule an appointment!

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I have been bringing all of my dogs to Glen Park Animal Hospital for the past 20 years and have found their service to be excellent! I am a nurse and have found that the care, competency and compassion that the entire staff gives to the animals is as good as (and in some instances even better than) the "human doctors/hospitals"!! Dr. Larson explains everything and does good follow-up with my "fur-babies". You can tell that the entire staff loves their job!
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Carol S.
Gary, IN

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