We all know how important dental hygiene is for us. It prevents bad breath, loss of teeth, and infections that can occur if you don’t brush your teeth regularly. Well, dental hygiene is equally important for our furry friends. Therefore, it’s important to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and monitor his dental health.
Why It’s Important To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Regularly?
Brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis can help in the prevention of several serious health issues. Gingivitis and tartar can advance to a stage called periodontal disease, or can even cause dental abscesses.
This is dangerous since these infections can actually spread systemically to other internal organs such as the heart, liver, or even kidneys. Therefore, it’s very important that we brush our dog’s teeth regularly and keep good dental hygiene.
Things To Do Before Brushing Dog’s Teeth?
Check Your Dogs Mouth
The first thing you need to do is to develop a habit of looking into your dog’s mouth. You need to know what is normal so that you can recognize the signs that something is wrong with your dog’s dental health.
You need to regularly check your dog’s mouth. Simply smell their breath, look at their teeth or even open their mouth if they let you. By doing this routine, you will understand what normal is. Then, if something changes in your dog’s mouth such as reddening of the gums (gingivitis), a broken tooth, growth, or even if the smell of their breath changes, you will know something is wrong. These are the situations where you need to take your dog to the vet to determine the exact cause of the issue.
Buy A Dog Toothpaste
Many owners make a mistake by using human toothpaste to brush their dog’s teeth. Don’t use human toothpaste, it’s toxic to dogs and can cause a variety of health issues.
What you need is pet-approved, dog-friendly enzymatic toothpaste. These come in a variety of flavors such as mint, beef, poultry, malt, etc. What you need to do is find the flavor that best suits your dog.
If your dog likes the flavor, he will stay calm and enjoy the process. On the other hand, chances are that you will have a really rough time trying to brush your dog’s teeth if he doesn’t like the taste of toothpaste.
Use Dog Tooth Brush
Another important thing you need to buy is a toothbrush designed for pets. The size of your pet will make a difference. There are three types of toothbrushes for dogs. Large toothbrushes for large dogs, small toothbrushes for medium and small dogs, and hybrid toothbrushes that have two sizes on them. There is also an option of buying a finger toothbrush, which is great because you have more control over the movement and the dogs seem to enjoy it the most.
Brushing The Teeth: Step-By-Step
1. Take some toothpaste on your finger and let your dog lick it. If the dog seems to like the flavor and wants more, go to the next step.
2. Take a toothbrush and put a little bit of toothpaste on it. If your dog is small, use the small toothbrush, and if the dog is big use the big one.
3. Hold the dog’s upper lip and slowly start brushing his teeth. Start with the top teeth. Go in a straight path from the front to the back of the teeth. You just need to do the outside of the teeth. Dog’s tongue will take care of whatever is on the inside, so you don’t need to worry about that. In fact, 96% of the tartar is located on the outside of the dog’s teeth. Therefore, this is the side you need to focus on.
4. Now, start brushing the bottom teeth.
5. If your dog allows, you can also brush the inside of the teeth, even though it’s not necessary.
6. Finish the brushing session with praise and rewards. Brushing teeth is not something that is natural for dogs. Our furry friends generally don’t like when someone is messing around their mouth. Therefore, you need to make this as positive an experience as possible. Treats and praise after you finish brushing will do the trick. Your dog will eventually learn to associate teeth brushing with something good.
It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth regularly to prevent gum disease, bad breath, and nasty infections that can eventually spread to other major organs. To brush your furry friend’s teeth, you will need a dog-friendly toothpaste, a toothbrush designed for dogs, and plenty of treats and praise.