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Learning how to brush dogs teeth is one of the best things that you can do to ensure the overall health of your pet. Good oral hygiene is not just for humans. Odor-causing bacteria can thrive in your canine companion’s mouth and can lead to cavities and periodontal disease. Unfortunately, brushing a dog’s teeth can be a real challenge.
Not only do you have to choose the right brushing instruments and schedule, but you also have to overcome your pet’s aversion to this practice. The good news is that, the following tips to brush dogs teeth, can help your dog avoid bad breath and the need for expensive dental procedures.
Start Training Your Dog Early On
Studies show that approximately 80% of all dogs have periodontal disease by the age of three. This is why it’s important to brush a dog’s teeth regularly and starting as early in life as possible. Getting your pet acclimated to this process is guaranteed to be easier if you start when he’s just a pup. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a good dog toothbrush and toothpaste for clearing away tartar without causing any oral or gastrointestinal irritation. Remember, you can’t coach your dog to spit and thus, you want to avoid using products that are made for humans and that might cause harm if ingested in any significant amount.
Have Your Veterinarian Demonstrate the Best Way to Brush Dogs Teeth
Ask your veterinarian to brush your dog’s teeth for you and in front of you so that you can get a clear look at how the job’s done. When you brush your pet’s teeth, be sure to make small, tight circles, just like you do when brushing your own. Avoid placing too much pressure on the gums in order to prevent abrasions and other forms off irritation. While you brush dogs teeth, you also want to place the greatest focus on the outer sides of the teeth, rather than the tops of the teeth or the inside portion. You should scrub the tongue very gently.
Owning a dog is a lot like having a child, especially when it comes to medical and dental care. Much like a growing toddler, your dog should have regular dental exams every six to twelve months. While brushing dogs teeth is essential, brushing alone will not remove all dog tartar or prevent all oral health issues. Having a professional inspect your canine’s gums and teeth on a routine basis will ensure that minor problems are identified and addressed before these issues have the opportunity to spiral out of control.
Keep It Quick
Put a small amount of dog toothpaste on you pet’s toothbrush and get the job done as quickly as you can. Attempting to be too thorough can create behavioral issues. Even a calm, well-trained dog can get frustrated if you insist on taking your time. Just thirty seconds of brushing with a proper brushing technique can do wonders and it is far better than absolutely no brushing at all. This is all the more true if you catch dog tartar and plaque in the earliest stages of development.
The decision to brush dogs teeth often comes after pets are already showing signs of severe dental decay. If your pet has loose teeth, gums that bleed or massive cavities, aggressively using a toothbrush can cause a considerable amount of pain. It is generally best to have these issues treated before you implement your new brushing routine. This will help your dog avoid a lot of unnecessary discomfort when you brush dogs teeth and ensure that he or she makes only positive associations with the brushing process.
Don’t Completely Rely on the Substitutes
Your dog needs regular dental care and routine dental exams. It is not enough to have your pet’s teeth brushed once every several weeks by the dog groomer. Although these services can give you a short break from your brushing duties, they are best when used as a complement to your dog’s normal brushing routine. Another shortcut to avoid is the use of special bones and other chewing implements for clearing off dog tartar. While these may be effective for freshening a dog’s breath and fighting plaque build up, they cannot replace regular brushing and consistent dental care when it comes to removing plaque.
Factors like your pet’s diet, his or her current dental health and even the breed of dog that you own will all play roles in determining the most appropriate brushing schedule. When pets have severe periodontal disease, brushing daily is often recommended. Dog who have a higher likelihood of developing plaque should have their teeth brushed twice weekly while dogs with excellent oral health and consistently fresh breath may need to have their teeth brushed just once each week. After your pet’s next dental exam, ask your veterinarian to suggest a brushing schedule that’s right for your animal.