How To Care For Your Dog’s Teeth

They are just dogs, anyway, so why care for their teeth?

Dogs, like humans, also suffer from dental problems. They develop plaque buildup that, if left alone, could lead to tooth decay. This causes pain and affects their eating habit. Tooth decay, in the long run, can also cause life-threatening problems such as kidney disease and heart disease as the tooth infection reaches these organs.

Dental problems in dogs can be avoided if you include dental care in your pet grooming routine. Below are some tips to care for your dog’s teeth.

Start Early

Before your puppy arrives, make sure that you have their things ready. These include leash and collar, dog bed and beddings, food and water bowls, dog food and toys, dog treats and grooming supplies. See to it, too, that you include dog toothbrush and toothpaste when you buy their grooming kit. Dogs are not used to having their teeth brushed, but you can easily make them feel comfortable when you are brushing their teeth if you start early.

Show the toothbrush to your puppy. The earlier he familiarizes himself with the toothbrush the better. Do not immediately put the toothbrush inside his mouth though. Make sure that he is comfortable around it first before you try it on his teeth.

When trying his new toothbrush out, speak to him in a soothing, calm voice and explain to him what the toothbrush is for and that it will be good for him. For example, show him the toothbrush while saying out loud the word; open his mouth gently and say “clean teeth.” This way, the words will sound familiar to him, and he will know what they are for.

Of note though; if you have two or more dogs, see to it that they have their own toothbrushes. Do not let them share toothbrush, and do not use your old toothbrush on your dog. Not only is it unhygienic but our toothbrush is not designed to be used on dogs. Dogs’ toothbrushes are especially designed for their canine teeth.

The Right Time to Brush Their Teeth

Do not attempt to brush your dog’s teeth when he’s in his most active mood. Instead, wait until after he has had a decent exercise and is ready to simply just sit still and rest. Also, make sure that he is very relaxed when you try to brush his teeth. Dogs need at least once or twice a week cleaning.

Dealing with a Difficult Dog

Introduce the toothbrush without toothpaste first and see how he takes to that. If he’s comfortable and seems to like having his teeth brushed, then use the toothpaste. Of note; do not use human toothpaste on them. This will only make him sick. Instead, use a special toothpaste designed for dogs. They seem to like flavored toothpaste most, such as chicken-flavored or beef-flavored toothpaste.

When brushing his teeth, gently brush the front teeth, particularly their canine teeth which are the longest and sharpest ones in front. Next, brush the teeth on the sides. It is also important that you brush the gum line.

If your dog does not want to get his teeth brushed and you think he is suffering from tooth problems, then take him to his vet who can give him a thorough dental checkup and cleaning.

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Jennifer Dahlquist is a freelance content provider for several pet blogs where she shares tips and advice on pet grooming. If you think your dog has dental problem, she recommends that you bring him to Arbor Pet Hospital for a good dental checkup.