How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?
Here are some useful tips for brushing your dog’s teeth, which will help our four-legged friends to keep an adequate oral hygiene.
Good news! Our little furry friends’ are not as prone to tooth cavities as humans. However, contrary to the old popular belief that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, in some cases, dogs can develop dental problems such as tartar, plaque build-up, and gingivitis.
Bad breath and yellow teeth in our pets are not the only things to worry about. As in humans, these dental problems can also lead to life-threatening infections in dogs. Our pets, just like us, are at risk of getting sick and having heart, liver, and kidney health problems.
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth in a Natural Way
Here are some important rules that can be put into practice to take proper care of our dog’s oral hygiene so as to provide it with a healthy life:
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?
You need a soft bristle brush to avoid damaging the tooth enamel. You will also need a special toothpaste. Toothpaste designed for humans should not be used on pets because it contains substances that may be toxic for them.
Alternatively, an effective homemade option may be baking soda. Dental brushing may not be so pleasant for your dog; it is recommended that it gets used to it gradually, otherwise, it will be impossible to convince it to undergo dental treatment in the future.
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?
If our dog could brush its teeth on its own before going to bed or after finishing his meal, let’s stop reading this article and post the video on YouTube immediately. For everyone else, we recommend a dog-friendly toothbrush, plenty of patience, and a little strategy.
The best brush to use is the double-headed brush, with 45-degree brushes to be able to clean even below the gingival margin. Our dog may not like brushing its teeth at first, but with time it is likely that this experience can become a manageable and pleasant one for both owner and pet.
It would be ideal to start the process when the dog has had a good amount of exercise. The dog will be more likely to remain still so that you can brush its teeth easily.
The first few times, you should go about it moderately. We must start slowly and stop if the dog gets anxious, even if we have not brushed its entire mouth. As the dog gets used to brushing, we can increase the time devoted to teeth brushing. Talk softly and pleasantly to your dog while brushing its teeth, and do not forget to reward it with a cookie at the end of each treatment.
It won’t be long before you see your dog happily waiting to repeat this activity.
Begin When Your Dog Is Still a Puppy
Although it would be a perfect idea to start this dental procedure when the dog is still a puppy, adult dogs can also learn to feel comfortable with teeth cleaning. Starting this oral health activity in our dog when it is still a puppy will simply make things easier for us in the future.
How to choose the right toothpaste for our dog? This is important to know. NEVER use your regular toothpaste. Most toothpaste used by humans includes fluoride, which is a dangerous ingredient for our dog. You can find dog toothpaste at a good pet store.
Dry Food Is Better Than Soft Food
If tooth brushing ends with bleeding or drops of blood, this means that we should improve our dog’s dental health and hygiene. In order to do so, we have to choose the best dog kibble instead of soft foods. This is because soft foods are more likely to become embedded between the teeth and accumulate, which can then cause tooth cavities.
Chewing On Bones And Toys Can Help Clean Your Dogs’ Teeth
Many synthetic bones and toys are suitable for chewing, specially designed to strengthen our dog’s gums and teeth.
The important thing is to be sure that we provide our dog with safe objects to chew on. Objects that are too hard can cause our dog’s teeth to break. However, giving a good chewable bone to our dog can help keep its teeth healthy and strong, but of course, this is not enough.
Imagine a man chewing a piece of gum and only using his mouth to mouthwash. This is not an effective way to ensure good oral hygiene and overall optimal health. The same goes for our dog.
When to See a Veterinarian?
Whether you are brushing your dog’s teeth or not, you should always look inside its mouth every week.
If you notice any of the signs of dental problems listed below, you should take your dog to the veterinarian:
- Bad breath
- Changes in eating or chewing habits
- Places its paws in its face or mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Loose or missing teeth
- Discolored, broken or crooked teeth
- Red, swollen, sore or bleeding gums
- If a yellow tartar crust along the gingival margin is observed
- Cuts or growths inside the mouth
Our dog’s teeth should be checked by a professional every six to twelve months even with healthy teeth. The dental exam should be included in our dog’s normal check-up visit, but you will have to ask your veterinarian for it if it is not done.
Dental care can be a hassle for both humans and our little friends, but proper dental care will surely be a money saver in the long run.
Not performing this dental procedure properly on our dog can cause costly and often painful visits to the veterinarian eventually. In fact, when tartar build-up becomes severe, many dogs are put under anesthesia to get their teeth and gums completely clean again. By keeping our dog’s mouth clean, we can both show off a dazzling smile!
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth: Tips
The dog’s teeth should be subject to proper attention and care, as well as any health-related issue in our loyal friend. Dog’s oral hygiene is frequently neglected by owners and, sometimes, even by veterinarians.
According to updated statistics, it seems that 80% of dogs suffer from dental problems, and sometimes this may occur at an early age. We should certainly not think that dogs’ teeth should be treated in the same way as humans’ teeth! Surely our furry friends are less prone to cavities because their saliva has a different composition than ours, and they are also free of gastric juices that are very corrosive.
But there are other problems related to the dog’s oral hygiene that should not be neglected, such as plaque, tartar, gingivitis, and tooth loss.
Chewed food, especially if it is wet and soft, accumulates between the dog’s teeth and can eventually lead to bacterial infections that, if not treated on time, can become a threat not only to the dog’s oral hygiene but also to its overall health.
First of all, check its teeth from time to time, lifting the lips to the sides: if you notice that the teeth have a yellow color, usually starting from the base, it means that plaque is present.
As it continues to accumulate over the years, it can cause tartar formation, recognizable in the form of real build-up, which can sometimes also take on a grayish-blackish color.
Pay Close Attention To Your Dog’s Gums
They are healthy when they are light pink. If your dog’s gums are red or white, it could mean your dog has gingivitis or other oral infections. If you have not seen this before, you should contact your veterinarian to start a proper dental treatment for your pet.
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth: Prevention
Conditions that damage your dog’s teeth can be prevented with proper oral hygiene. Here are some tips to ensure the proper cleaning of your four-legged friend’s mouth.
Make Sure Your Dog Eats a Balanced Diet
Eating foods that are not suitable for your dog’s diet, such as leftover food, can also lead to increased exposure to possible damage to your dog’s teeth. Don’t give your four-legged friend bones or stiff toys that are not suitable for it, as they can damage the enamel on his teeth.
Give Your Dog Dental Cleaning Snacks
Several products on the market are specifically designed to help remove plaque through mechanical abrasion, such as buffalo leather bones, which are great for your pet. Some gummies serve this same purpose: when chewed, they can be useful to prevent tartar formation.
Regular Check-ups of Your Dog
When you take your furry friend to the vet, perhaps for an annual vaccination or a health check-up visit, remind your vet, if he or she doesn’t do it, to take a look at your dog’s mouth to make sure it is free of dental disease.
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth: Tartar
If your four-legged friend has a massive presence of plaque and tartar, oral hygiene at home may not be enough. Then, it is necessary for the veterinarian’s intervention, who will perform a deep cleaning of the dog’s teeth: This procedure is called tartar removal, and it is performed under general anesthesia. Your dog will first undergo blood tests and a routine visit to determine general health conditions.
In the most severe cases, where serious infections that have badly affected the oral cavity have occurred, it may be necessary to administer antibiotics to prevent the bacteria from spreading to the blood and causing damage to the dog’s vital organs.
If in doubt, consult a professional who will give you good assistance and answer all your questions.
You may be interested in reading another article related to the Hygiene and Beauty of our friends such as:
- Trimming your dog’s nail
- Tips to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
- How to Bathe Your Dog
- Dog hygiene
- Stripping and Trimming in Dogs