When it comes to good dog dental hygiene, most of us develop healthy patterns that we pass along to our children – brushing at least twice daily, flossing, and so on. But when it comes to our pets and good dental care for dogs, we tend to forget that oral hygiene can be just as important to your dog’s health as it can be for our own. And since they can’t exactly brush their own teeth, as responsible pet owners it is up to us to help keep them (and their teeth) healthy.
In addition to the obvious benefit of decreasing a dog’s bad breath, keeping their teeth clean can actually prolong their life and promote a better quality of living as well. Good dental care will help your dog keep his or her teeth longer, allowing them to enjoy their food, chewing, and related activities. More importantly, however, is the benefit of good dental hygiene to your dog’s health. Certain types of bacteria can accumulate in your dog’s mouth, and may eventually spread to their kidneys, lungs, liver, and heart – damaging them permanently. And while this might only sound like an issue for older dogs, research has shown that the dogs can develop significant damage to their teeth by the time they’re only three years old. Preventative dental care is therefore recommended for dogs of all ages.
See Also: How To Prevent Canine Bad Breath
Tips for Good Pet Dental Care
But perhaps you have tried to pressure dog’s teeth before, only to find that doing so can become an epic battle (and one that you’d just as soon not fight). Fortunately, brushing your dog’s teeth doesn’t have to always be that difficult. Here are a few tips and tricks for making tooth brushing time a little easier for both you and your pooch:
- Start young! It will be easier for everyone if you start brushing your dog’s teeth when he is a puppy. – See also: Dental Care for Senior Dogs
- Give your dog a good workout before brushing her teeth. Just like the rest of us, a tired dog is more likely to sit still than to fight the process.
- Start slowly and build up gradually. Like everything else you have to do with your dog, training tooth brushing is all about consistency and showing your pet that going through the process will not be the end of the world. If you spend 30 seconds or so trying to brush their teeth, then slowly increasing the time as you go, they will get used to the process, and it will become easier.
- Don’t force it if your dog reacts badly. Start out with only a minute or so at a time, increasing the time you spend on his or her teeth gradually. Your dog will get used to it eventually, but not if it becomes a traumatic event each time.
- Speak soothingly to your dog while you’re brushing their teeth. Most dogs respond very strongly to the tone of your voice – if you get agitated, so will they. Alternatively, if you speak smoothly and evenly, it will help calm their nerves.
- Reward them! Each time you work with your dog on brushing their teeth, even if you can only do it for 15 seconds before they freak out, reward them with a treat. It won’t take long for them to look forward to the event when they know they will receive a reward afterward. Just be sure to make it a small treat to avoid weight gain, especially if you’re working with them on a daily basis.
Be patient with your dog and with yourself. Realize that there will be some days when it’s a bigger battle, and some days when it’s easy. But being a responsible and loving pet parent means appreciating that it is your job to keep your dog healthy, whether or not is convenient to you to do so. So get brushing now! If you have more concerns about dog dental hygiene, do not hesitate to visit you local pet dentist or vet.