Let’s talk a bit about how to brush your dog’s teeth! Believe it or not, for health reasons, it’s almost as important to brush Fido’s teeth as it is your own. Even though dogs typically don’t get as many cavities as their human companions, the lack of proper dental care can lead to infection as well as liver, kidney, or even heart disease. Brushing your dog’s teeth doesn’t have to be hard. Like all things with dogs, it’s all about the approach and the training. Let’s see how to do it!
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
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When to Start
Although there’s no official age that you should start brushing your dog’s teeth, most veterinarians recommend that you start doing so when your dog is still a puppy. That’s not to say an older dog won’t get used to it. However, puppies seem to put up with it a little better.
Choose the Correct Toothbrush and Toothpaste
If you don’t have access to a toothbrush made especially for dogs, don’t panic. You can use a standard toothbrush and still get the job done.
Toothpaste, on the other hand, is a whole separate issue. NEVER use your own toothpaste on your dog. Why? Most toothpaste brands contain fluoride and fluoride is very poisonous to dogs. That’s right, you read it correctly, POISONOUS! Human toothpaste also often contains xylitol, another deadly ingredient to your pooch.
You can easily find canine toothpaste online or at your favorite pet store or veterinary office. It’s available in several flavors such as poultry, mint, and malt. Finding a flavor that your dog really likes, typically makes the whole process easier.
How and When to Brush
Basically, you brush your dog’s teeth in a similar way you brush your own. Instead of using an up-and-down motion, you want to move to brush in a straight path. It’s not necessary to brush the inside of the teeth, only the outside.
Gently keeping the dog’s mouth open with one hand, while brushing with the other, is extremely helpful. There’s no need to worry about rinsing the dog’s mouth. He or she will lick off any excess toothpaste.
It’s best to get in the habit of brushing your dog’s teeth on a daily basis. Honestly, it only takes a minute or two, once you both used to it. If it’s not possible to brush every day, at least strive for several times a week. It really doesn’t do any good to do it once a week or once a month. At that point, it’s almost better not to brush the dog’s teeth at all.
Other Alternatives to Brushing
If your dog makes it extremely difficult for you brush his teeth, there are other things you can do to promote better oral health. Feeding him a diet of dry food is much better than soft. Soft food has a tendency to stick to the teeth for longer periods of time.
Chew toys and bones also help to keep teeth cleaner. Bones actually help to get rid of build up and keep teeth stronger.
There you have it… a mini lesson along with a helpful video explaining how to brush your dog’s teeth without either one of you experiencing a complete meltdown. Once your fur baby starts to get used to the procedure, chances are things will go quicker and easier. Just remember, patience is a virtue, even when it comes to brushing your dog’s teeth.