When most people think about regular dog health care, they think about annual checkups and vaccinations. However, you need to make sure that you keep your dog’s teeth clean as well. If you neglect your pet’s teeth, it can develop such things as tartar buildup and periodontal disease.
Furthermore, if your dog develops periodontal disease, the condition can also result in bad breath, tooth loss and life-threatening infections. Not only is periodontal disease extremely painful for your dog, but infections can lead to serious problems with the heart, kidneys and liver.
How to Brush a Dog’s Teeth
Choosing a Brush and Dog Toothpaste
The first step to brushing your pet’s teeth is choosing the proper brush and toothpaste. You can find specially-designed dog toothbrushes at many pet stores. Alternatively, you may choose to use a small piece of gauze wrapped around your finger or a special dental sponge made for dogs.
It is never a good idea to use human toothpaste to brush dog’s teeth. However, there are many brands and flavors of dog toothpaste available that you can purchase from your local pet shop or veterinarian. These pastes are completely safe to use for pets as they will not cause stomach upsets if ingested.
Brushing Dog Teeth: First Steps
At first, your dog most likely will not like you poking around in its mouth. Nevertheless, you can make the task a bit more pleasant if you start out slowly and give your pet a treat when you are finished. Begin by getting your dog accustomed to you handling its muzzle.
When your pet seems comfortable with you handling its mouth, use a finger and gently rub its teeth. If your dog does not like this, you can place a touch of peanut butter on the tip of your finger. As your pet gets used to this process, you can switch to a toothbrush or dental sponge.
Introducing Dog Toothpaste
After your dog becomes accustomed to the toothbrush or sponge, you can add a bit of toothpaste. Gently and firmly hold the muzzle while lifting the lip on one side. Brush each tooth in circular motions on one side before moving to the other. You may not be able to get every tooth cleaned the first few times.
With time, your dog will not mind getting its teeth brushed. However, you should be able to clean every tooth in just a few days. At this time, it is recommended that you brush your dog’s teeth twice a day. In this way, you can eliminate any bacteria before it has a chance of harming your pet’s teeth.
Learning how to brush a dog’s teeth is essential to maintaining your pet’s dental health. Just as with human teeth, dog teeth are vulnerable to periodontal disease. While your dog may not enjoy getting its teeth brushed at first, if you follow the useful tips described above, you can teach your pet to enjoy the process. Prevent dental disorder with proper dog dental care!