Author: Elsa Smith
Dogs need to go to the dentists too. Many dog owners forget all about their dog’s teeth, but it’s very important that you do pay attention as much as possible to your dog’s teeth, because just like humans, dogs can get diseases and become very ill from a simple lack of basic dental hygiene.
Before you set about cleaning your dog’s teeth, you’ll want to learn some of the basics of doggy dental care. The following piece will tell you what to look for when it comes to doggy dental issues, the best long-term preventative dental care and how to use certain tools to help keep your dog’s mouth healthy and your dog happy.
Check your dog’s mouth often
One of the best things you can do to prevent the spread of disease in your dog’s mouth is to perform a visual inspection as often as possible. Once every two to three weeks is usually a good time frame to gauge changes. Making a visual inspection can reveal potential problems and you’ll want to contact your nearest veterinarian if you see any of the above-linked issues.
Cleaning the teeth
One of the best things you can do to prevent oral health problems in your dog is to ensure that their teeth are regularly cleaned. While many dog groomers offer this service, it certainly is something that you can do yourself and save yourself money. Here’s how to clean your dog’s teeth effectively and painlessly for your dog.
Introducing your dog to brushing
At first, your dog is naturally going to be anxious about having something in their mouth that they didn’t put there. Your dog is not going to like having their teeth brushed – at all – that’s why it’s important to let your dog take the lead in the inspection of the brush and the toothpaste. Let them smell it – that’s how they recognize things, after all. Make sure that they’re well-acquainted with the brush and paste before you start.
Reward for good behavior
One of the fastest ways that a dog will learn anything is to use a reward system. You’re not going to be able to brush all of your dog’s teeth in one go, so make sure to have some treats handy, so that you can reward your dog for sitting still and letting you do your thing. Be sure to talk to them and praise them for their obedience. If they reject the toothbrush, that’s okay, keep rewarding them and keep trying, eventually they’ll get used to it even if it takes a few extra minutes.
Use doggy toothpaste
One of the most important things about brushing your dog’s teeth is that you use dog toothpaste, toothpaste specially formulated for dogs – as human toothpaste is generally considered harmful to the animal. These can be found at your local vets or online.
Start out with brushing gently, moving from front to back – as you get nearer the back of your dog’s mouth, they may become more fidgety, as these areas are more sensitive. Use quick brushing techniques – lots of stopping and starting – to help your dog deal with the discomfort.
It’s important that you take the lead at some point. Start by holding your dog’s mouth for a longer period of time, varying this period throughout the brushing.
Once you’re confident you have brushed all of your dog’s teeth, let them go about their day and give them plenty of water to wash the taste of toothpaste out of their mouths – if you don’t like the taste, they don’t either.
What to do if you’re not confident
If you’re not confident in your own ability to brush your dog’s teeth, it is important that you recognize this and take your dog to a professional dog groomer. They will have the tools to get the job done properly, without risking injury to themselves or the animal. While brushing your dog’s teeth may seem like a simple task, the last thing you’ll want to do is try it and hurt your furry friend, or get yourself hurt by doing something that makes your dog bite you.
Please note that it is important to brush your dog’s teeth as often as every day or every other day. Dog’s mouths hold large amounts of saliva, and tartar on the teeth can harden and calcify in that time – making it very difficult with simple brushing.