Your dog may look happy and clean, but if you continually ignore cleaning his teeth – he may eventually develop a disease. If untreated, your dog’s tartar and plaque can lead to gum disease, bad breath and tooth loss. Dirty teeth also accumulate bacteria, which could potentially cause heart, kidney and liver problems. There are guidelines for the cleaning and protection of your dog’s teeth. Some of them may require some effort from you and your dog. However, the rewards of a clean mouth and healthy dog are worth the effort.
Here are the tips on how to take care of a dog’s teeth:
- Visit your vet regularly. You can do this every 6-12 months just to check the general wellness of your dog. This way, your vet will be able to treat tooth and gum problems early on, so you can apply the necessary treatment.
- Minimize the sweets you give your dog. Unlike humans, dogs don’t get to brush their teeth everyday. The sugar will just increase the bacterial growth in the dog’s mouth. Instead of sweets, you can substitute dental dog treats. There are dental chews, which are especially designed to help scrape plaque from your dog’s teeth. In this method, your dog enjoys while he does all the work. However, compared to brushing, this method does not clean the teeth thoroughly.
- Brush your dog’s teeth. The first thing that you need to do is to purchase a special toothbrush and toothpaste suited for your dog. Never use the toothpaste that humans use. This can make your dog sick. Establish a brushing routine for your dog. You can brush your dog’s teeth daily and schedule it into your own tooth brushing routine. This way, brushing your dog’s teeth will be easier to remember.
- Use a “finger brush” or special long toothbrush. This toothbrush is designed especially for the use of dogs. It is available in most pet stores. Once you start brushing your dog’s teeth, finger brushing can ease your dog into the brushing process. These do not feel as weird as other brushes. Young dogs will adapt to this routine more quickly but a dog of any age can be taught to have his teeth brushed. You can even ask the help of your vet to teach you techniques in brushing your dog’s teeth.
- Prep your dog. Do not just surprise your dog and brush his teeth everyday. Introduce him to the process by letting your dog get used to the taste of toothpaste. If your dog does not like the taste of toothpaste, you might want to purchase a different kind. The next thing to do is to make sure that your dog is comfortable with something placed on its mouth. Apply a small amount of toothpaste on your finger. Gently rub this on his teeth.
Here are some tips on how to take care of a dog’s teeth. Don’t forget to praise your dog and use positive reinforcement if he displays good behavior. Show him that brushing teeth is not a scary process. Have fun and enjoy brushing teeth with your best pet friend.