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April 13

Cleaning your dog’s teeth

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Introduction

Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth
 

Good dental care ensures your dog doesn’t face dental issues in the future. Periodontal disease is a common health issue among canines causes bad breath.

If you don’t address it, this problem can lead to tooth loss and systemic infections throughout the body.


Majority of the pet owners don’t pay attention to dental hygiene, which is why dogs suffer from dental issues frequently.

Although canines are not as vulnerable to cavities as humans, they can still get gingivitis, plaque buildup, and tartar. As a responsible pet owner, you must make cleaning your dog’s teeth a frequent activity.


How do you make sure your furry friend’s pearly whites are in good condition? Follow the tips given in this guide for cleaning your dog’s teeth:

Brushing

 

What do you do every morning, after you wake up? You brush your teeth before you start your day. Similarly, you also need to do the same with your dog’s teeth.


Fortunately, you can train your canine to like this activity, to ensure you don’t face any difficulties while cleaning your dog’s teeth.


How to brush dog’s teeth?

 

You should only do this activity when your canine is feeling relaxed and calm. The best way to go about this is to establish a routine.

Before you start cleaning your dog’s teeth, you need all the right tools to help you with this activity.


Go for toothbrushes designed especially for dogs as they provide the best results.

The bristles on these brushes are soft and come at an angle.

If you have a small dog, you can go for a finger brush. Otherwise, you will need a brush with a long handle, to reach all the teeth inside your dog’s mouth.


Avoid using toothpaste for humans as your canine may not react well to the ingredients.

Always look for dog-friendly toothpaste in the market. If possible, go for ones with a flavor as your canine will love it.


When it comes to brushing your dog’s teeth, you’ve to make sure you are on the same level as your furry friend. If you tower over your canine, it can feel uncomfortable.

A better option would be to sit beside or in front of him. Before you start cleaning dog’s teeth, you have to gauge its level of comfort. If you notice it feeling anxious, you must stop immediately.


Do a test by running rubbing one of your fingers on your dog’s teeth and gums. See how it reacts during this activity.

 Make sure you use minimal pressure to ensure your canine doesn’t feel stressed when you brush its teeth.

Important for us, and important for them too.


After you do a test run, you have to find out if your canine likes the new toothpaste. Take a small sample on your fingertip and allow your furry friend to taste it.

This will get it accustomed to the taste and texture of the toothpaste. In some cases, your canine may not like the toothpaste, after trying it for a while.

If you find yourself in this situation, try switching to a new flavor or brand.


If you reach this stage, you should now try using the toothbrush. First, you must lift your canine’s upper lip and brush its teeth. Make sure you hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle.

This will remove existing plaque while massaging your dog’s gums. Always brush dog’s teeth with circular motion.


The reason you need to apply light pressure is the gum may start bleeding.

While small amounts of blood are acceptable, you should tone down the brushing if there is heavy bleeding.


How often should you take up the activity of cleaning dog’s teeth? The goal is to do it every day, to prevent plaque buildup.

If this isn’t possible, you must practice cleaning your dog’s teeth at least thrice every week.


When you are cleaning dog’s teeth, make sure you start small.

Focus on a couple of teeth, before expanding the dental care. You should try to do it for at least two minutes for the results to be effective.


Always be loving, communicative, and reassuring during this time. You must make it as easy as possible for your canine. After you brush dog’s teeth for the first time, you should reward it.

Get to da chompa!

Are there other ways on how to clean dog’s teeth?

 

Sometimes, regardless of what you do, your dog doesn’t find the act of brushing its teeth to be comfortable. You tried every way, to make sure your canine feels safe and happy.

However, none of your plans worked. In this case, you can still try out the following techniques:


Dental treats and chew toys

 

If you don’t want to or can’t brush your dog’s teeth, consider using dental treats and chews. These treats focus on eliminating plaque buildup in your canine’s mouth.

They also contain special ingredients that keep your dog’s mouth clean, while freshening its breath. If you don’t want these products, you can give your canine raw bones.


The benefit of raw bones is they won’t splinter when your dog eats them. Make sure the bone you choose is appropriate for your furry friend.


Chewing is a way your canine keeps its teeth clean. There are plenty of toys available in the market which focus on cleaning dog’s teeth. 


Tooth wipes

 

When it comes to cleaning dog’s teeth without a toothbrush, you can always use a tooth wipe. All you need to do is rub them against your dog’s teeth to keep it clean.

While it is similar to a toothbrush, it can’t reach all the areas in your canine’s mouth.


Veterinarian


If you tried all these methods, there is one last option. Your vet has the expertise in cleaning dog’s teeth.

The best part is that the vet will identify existing and potential dental problems if any.

However, the downside is the cost, especially when you compare it with other cleaning your dog’s teeth techniques.


These are the different ways you can clean your dog’s teeth. Try out all the techniques, to find out which one your canine finds comfortable!


about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.


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