Most people are excellent about brushing their teeth twice a day or more to maintain their dental health. But often, we do not take as good care of our dog’s teeth as we do our own. While the thought of brushing your dog’s teeth may make some of us feel a little nauseated, providing them with proper oral hygiene is crucial for good doggie dental health.
Check Your Dog’s Mouth Regularly
Dogs don’t use mouthwash. You can tell this every time they put their faces up to yours. But if you notice that their breath smells especially worse than usual, it may be a sign that they are experiencing some mouth trouble or dog dental disease. Other symptoms include swollen and/or red gums, loose teeth, excessive drooling, or cysts under the tongue. While a little tartar on the teeth is normal, there is a minimal amount of brown tartar in a healthy mouth.
How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth
Doggie dental health should start in puppyhood. This will get them used to the process at a young age and make the routine a lot easier. If you are starting with a mature dog, start slowly and gradually, increasing the time that you take to clean his or her teeth. Be gentle and give your dog praise and affection while you are cleaning.
Using a small piece of gauze, begin by gently rubbing your dog’s teeth and gums in a circular pattern. Once your dog becomes used to this process, you can move on to a toothbrush and paste. A doggie toothbrush will have soft bristles or will be one you can slide onto your finger. Doggie toothpaste can be purchased at a pet supply store, or you can use a baking soda and water mixture.
Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth as often as your own, but most veterinarians and pet dentist recommend a few times a week.
Always be sure that your dog is chewing on appropriate chew toys. Chewing on things that are too hard can cause breakage and loose teeth. Proper chew toys help keep your dog’s teeth clean by rubbing and scraping away soft tartar. They also massage your dog’s gums and satisfy his or her natural chewing desire. Feeding your dog people food will increase the amount of tartar on the teeth. A good brand of dog food is preferred to give your dog the nutrition and texture that he or she needs. Specially formulated foods are also available for the promotion of dental health.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
[…] it comes to good dog dental hygiene, most of us develop healthy patterns that we pass along to our children – brushing at least […]