Most dog owners overlook the importance of oral hygiene so its important to understand how to brush your dogs teeth. Aside from dirt and plague, bad breath can be caused by periodontal diseases; however, many dog owners assume that bad breath is just something dogs happen to have. No matter how cute looking your kitty or puppy might be, bad breath and plagued teeth can be downright gross at times. If left unattended to, dental issues can quickly graduate from being unhygienic to causing serious health problems.
With a majority of pet dogs suffering from some degree of dental disease, maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene isn’t a luxury; it is a necessary routine to keep your dog healthy. Here are some dogs teeth care tips to help you keep your pet’s mouth cleaner and free of health issues.
How To Brush Your Dogs Teeth
Adult dogs can learn how to tolerate teeth cleaning, but working with your dog as a puppy can make things much easier. Also, your dog will experience far much less dental problems in adulthood if you start early.
Pick the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your dog
It’s critical that you use toothpaste and toothbrush specifically designed for dogs when brushing their teeth. Do not use human toothpaste as most of them contain fluoride which is very poisonous to dogs. You can buy dog toothpaste and toothbrush in pet and vet stores. The toothbrush should preferably have its brushes at a 45-degree angle so that it can efficiently clean below the gum line.
Train Your Dog to Tolerate tooth cleaning
Teeth and the mouth, in general, are some of the most sensitive parts of your dog. Most dogs don’t like their teeth touched; this is their primary weapon you know. You want to have your dog used to teeth and gums handled before starting the actual brushing. You can start by rubbing a small amount of toothpaste on the teeth using your finger. When your dog gets used to this procedure, replace the finger with a toothbrush. Just always remember to be gentle.
When it comes to brushing your dog’s teeth, it helps to have someone demonstrate how you do it. Feel free to search for tutorial videos or visit a vet for a short crash course. The basic format is to brush in little cycling motions, focus on the outside of the teeth and leave the tongue along.
Offer Chew bones and chew toys
There are many chew toys and synthetic bones specifically designed to strengthen dogs’ teeth and gums. Just make sure that they are safe enough as hard objects can bruise your dog’s gums and break teeth. In addition to strengthening gums the teeth, chewing on bones also dislodges dirt and tartar, and prevents a buildup of plaque.
Inspect and brush your dog’s teeth regularly
For most dogs, a minimum of twice brushes per week is the most recommended. However, a daily brush is highly encouraged for dogs likely to develop plague or those with severe periodontal diseases.
When to see a vet
Whether you brush your dog’s teeth or not, make a habit of inspecting your dog’s mouth at least once per week. If you notice any of the following signs, you should consider visiting a vet;
- Pawing at the mouth or face
- Persistent bad breath
- Change in eating or chewing habits
- Excessive drooling
- Missing or misaligned teeth
- Discolored, crooked or broken teeth
- Swollen, red, bleeding or painful gums
In addition to the above teeth care tips; you should always take your pet to a vet for routine dental examination every six to twelve months. Dental care can seem like a hassle for both you and your dog, but it can save you a lot of complications and money in the long run. So keep your dog’s mouth clean and healthy, and you will both be smiling. I hope these tips help you in learning how to brush your dogs teeth.