How to clean your dog’s teeth + 5 Reasons why you should
5 Reasons You Should Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth may seem like a silly undertaking, but good oral health and a pain-free mouth are essential to your pet’s well-being. Read on to learn why you should provide daily oral care for your pet, and the steps you can take at home to prevent dental disease.
1) Diseased teeth and gums are painful.
Remember what it felt like the last time you had a toothache? I bet you do.
Although most dogs are very good at hiding it, they feel all the same pain sensations that humans do – including dental pain. Brushing the teeth daily can help prevent periodontal disease, and minimise the possibility of infected, painful teeth.
2) Oral disease can lead to other health problems.
When the gums become inflamed and recede from the teeth, a condition known as periodontal disease, dangerous bacteria from the mouth can gain access to the bloodstream. These bacteria can then travel to vital tissues such as the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and lungs; causing infection and organ dysfunction.
3) Save money and minimise the risks involved with professional dentistry.
Your pet will probably need a professional dental cleaning at some point in his life, no matter how often you brush. The costs of a regular cleaning with minimal treatments will be much less than a cleaning that involves multiple extractions and gum surgery.
While the risks of anesthesia – which is needed for the procedure – are minimal, they can increase with the amount of time your pet is anesthetised. A routine cleaning usually takes about 45 minutes or so. A diseased mouth with multiple extractions can take hours to address; sometimes requiring multiple sessions in the “dentist’s chair.”
4) Save your pet’s teeth.
Once your dog has lost a number of teeth there may be restrictions on the types of food and treats he can eat. Brushing daily will aid in preventing tooth loss, so your baby can keep his pearly whites and enjoy all his favorite foods well into his golden years.
5) Avoid embarrassing doggy breath.
Some dogs with infected teeth have breath so bad they can literally clear a room! This may cause your family and guests to avoid interacting with your pet, and will certainly put the kibosh on kisses from your pooch.
Every dog deserves to be cuddled and kissed!
Now that you understand why you should be brushing your dog’s teeth, here’s how to clean your dogs teeth:
- Do not begin brushing the teeth with toothpaste and a brush immediately! Gradually work your way up to using a brush.
- Obtain a soft-bristled dog or child toothbrush and find a pet toothpaste in a flavour your dog will like.
- Never use human toothpaste, as it is toxic to pets if swallowed.
- Start by letting your pet lick some toothpaste off of your finger. Let him get used to the taste.
- You can then use your finger to gently rub the toothpaste on the teeth and gums.
- Once your pet lets you put your fingers in his mouth, you can try wrapping your finger with a piece of gauze and use it to massage the toothpaste across the teeth and gums.
- Then begin to use the toothbrush. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth, and brush gently in a circular motion; focusing on the gum line.
- You do not need to open the mouth, as the tongue does a pretty good job of keeping the insides of the teeth clean.
Ideally you’d do this every day! Though a couple of times a week is better than not at all.
Progress through these steps as slowly as possible; praising and rewarding your pet as he masters each one. It may even take a few weeks to train your dog to accept tooth-brushing, but the benefits will be worth the time you invest.
Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy does not have to be difficult, and if done right, can be something that your pooch looks forward to each day!
Does your dog beg to have his teeth brushed? Share your tooth-brushing success stories below!