Setting up a dog teeth cleaning routine and sticking to it is important to keep your dog healthy and happy. While cleaning dogs teeth at home is convenient for most dog owners, there is a risk involved in doing so. Brushing dogs teeth incorrectly can lead to serious problems for you and your dog.
Before you proceed with dog teeth cleaning, here are a few things you should know.
Dog Teeth Cleaning Isn’t Like Cleaning Your Own Teeth
Dog owners often make a mistake by thinking that dog teeth cleaning is a simple process. As a matter of fact, cleaning canine teeth is nothing similar to cleaning human teeth using a toothbrush and toothpaste. Dog teeth cleaning should be carefully done to ensure that plaque and dog tartar build-up is safely removed. If done incorrectly, your dogs mouth could be seriously affected.
In one of our previous posts, we have outlined some symptoms of possible oral disease in dogs. You can read it here.
Don’t just blindly get the best dog toothpaste and best dog toothbrush on the market and start brushing a dogs teeth. Check if the gums are red, or if there are any cavities between the teeth and the gums. Failing to do so will cause acute pain, swollen and bleeding gums, torn gum tissue and a host of other dental issues for the dog.
Scheduling regular dental cleaning sessions with your vet will help avoid such unfortunate outcomes. Keep in mind that a specialist will perform a thorough checkup of your pooch’s mouth before proceeding to brushing his teeth, or even take dental radio graphs (X-rays) to better evaluate your pet’s teeth and jawbone health.
Incorrect substance use is an aspect very few dog owners think of, when it comes to at-home dog teeth cleaning. Using human toothpaste to brush his teeth can be very dangerous, as fluoride is particularly poisonous to your dog. When fluoride is ingested by dogs, their stomach and intestines become inflamed, while the heart starts beating rapidly and irregularly, followed by collapse and even death. Special enzymatic toothpaste made only for dogs should be used, though a number of products might be formulated with other ingredients that might affect your pooch’s health.
Getting your dog’s teeth cleaned by a specialist is the only way to ensure that your dog is not susceptible to poisoning during the process. Veterinaries utilize professional products that pose no poisoning risk, which makes dog teeth cleaning safe and effective.
Getting your dog used to regular teeth brushing is a process that takes time and patience, requiring you to start small and gradually progress until your pooch accepts having a toothbrush in his mouth. As you continue to do this on a regular basis, your dog perceives teeth cleaning as part of his daily routine, which allows you to successfully keep his mouth healthy.
However, this can change if there are any long gaps in this activity. Skipping a few weeks or even days of brushing your dog’s teeth might result in him no longer being used to this activity. This will likely cause him to show resistance while getting his mouth clean, which will make the routine become more of a challenge until he eventually gets used to it again – which can take even longer than the first time.
Regular dog teeth cleaning performed by a specialist will prevent the potential dangers of a dog that resists having his teeth brushed. Needless to mention, you will never have to cope with dog bad breath again, or be concerned about potential oral diseases.
Brushing Dog’s Teeth At-Home Poses Risks for Dog Owners
Teeth cleaning is not only dangerous for the dog, but also for its owners. In just a fraction of a second, you could have your hand seriously injured. This can also happen if you accidentally scratch his gums or make the process painful, as your dog will impulsively defend by biting your hand.
A professional veterinary will put your dog under anesthesia before proceeding, which will prevent these sort of accidents during the process. Moreover, it will also help maintain a strong bond between the dog and his owner, which can be greatly shaken otherwise.
Final Thoughts on Dog Teeth Cleaning
Getting your dog’s mouth cleaned by a professional will make the process more convenient for both of you. On top of getting rid of bad breath in your dogs, you will be able to avoid a number of problems, and keep your four-legged family member healthy and happy.
About Dogs, “All About Dogs and Dental Care” (http://dogs.about.com/od/dogandpuppyhealth/qt/dentalcare.htm)
Merck Manuals, “Fluoride Poisoning” (http://www.merckmanuals.com/pethealth/special_subjects/poisoning/fluoride_poisoning.html)