Brushing Dogs’ Teeth: The How and Why

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    Why Should You Brush Your Dog's Teeth?

    Brushing dogs’ teeth can often be overlooked but it is, in fact, a crucial part of their health. Brushing their teeth can:

    • Prevent bad breath
    • Remove tartar and plaque buildup
    • Prevent Periodontal disease
    • Avoid Rotting teeth
    • Reduce internal organ damage in your dog

    How Do You Brush a Dog's Teeth?

    Brushing your dog’s teeth is often much more difficult if you’re getting started at some point in your dog’s adult life whether it be you have never thought to do it or they were adopted as an adult but it is absolutely possible! Follow the steps below for assistance in brushing your dog’s teeth:

    1. Find The Right Time to Start

    When your dog is nice and comfortable, brush their teeth. Establish a routine. It is good to gradually increase your brushing frequency until you are brushing everyday. But if their mouth is in good shape, even three days a week may make a big difference in their oral health. As a result of plaque accumulation, your dog is at risk of developing foul breath, gum disease, and teeth decay. It can also lead to painful infections, according to the CDC. Extreme cases of infection can be lethal.

    2. Have The Right Tools

    You’ll want to use a dog-specific toothbrush. Specially slanted bristles make these brushes gentler and easier to use. Dog under 30 pounds may benefit from finger brushing. Longer handles can give you a better reach in larger dogs. Dog toothpaste is a must with common flavors including chicken and peanut butter. Dogs’ stomachs are sensitive to human toothpaste, which includes irritants that might cause stomach upset.

    3. Get in Place

    Check to see whether your dog is comfortable in the environment where you’ll be doing the brushing. Keep your dog at a safe distance from you and avoid intimidating stances. If you want to avoid this, consider kneeling before them, or sitting to the side of them instead. Determine your dog’s degree of anxiousness and t ry again later if they appear agitated. Each of the next steps may take some time to perfect.

    4. Get them used to it

    Rub your finger over your dog’s top gums and teeth to see whether they’re comfortable with you touching their mouths. In this approach, they will become accustomed to the sensation of anything against their teeth. Press lightly. Before going on, you may need to spend a few sessions getting them used to this. Your fingers should be coated with dog toothpaste. Allow your dog to lick the toothpaste off of your finger to become acclimated to the feel and taste of the toothpaste. if they don’t want to lick any more toothpaste after the first few days, switch flavors. This is a treat for them, and you’ll want to make sure you find one!

    5. Test the Toothbrush

    You may start using the toothpaste and toothbrush together once your pet has become accustomed to you opening and touching their mouth. Then, they raise their top lip. Be sure to slant the bristles of the toothbrush as you brush their teeth so that they reach the gum line as you do so Brushes that are placed at a 45-degree angle against teeth will massage the gum line and remove plaque.

    6. Use the Toothbrush

    In tiny circular motions, brush both the top and bottom of each side. The bristles may bleed a little as they travel along the gum line. A little bleeding every now and again is OK. In contrast, persistent or severe bleeding might indicate that you’re brushing too forcefully, or that you have gum disease. Your veterinarian can provide you with further information.

    7. Brush Away the Plaque

    Brush a few teeth at a time, increasing the number of teeth you brush each day as you and your dog get more comfortable. Aim for a total of two minutes. Begin by cleaning the outsides of the canine and rear teeth, where plaque is most likely to accumulate. If you’re able to go inside, that’s fantastic. But if you’re unable to reach them, don’t worry too much about it. These animals have a coarse tongue, which helps keep the region clean.

    8. Use Positive Reinforcement

    Specialists recommend keeping the mood light when brushing your dog’s teeth. Tell them what you’re doing while you brush their teeth, reassuring them that they are fine and safe. Gently pet them while doing so to remind them of what a good dog they are. Make this a positive experience for them. In the end, give your dog with their favorite reward or special attention. When everyone is still having a good time, it’s time to stop. Also, keep in mind that excellent dental care doesn’t end with brushing as you can also help your dog prevent plaque accumulation by eating certain chews and snacks. Schedule frequent professional dental cleanings as well. Consult your veterinarian to determine how often your dog should be brushed.

     Learn more about brushing dog’s teeth with this helpful video by VetVid.

    To find teeth brushing products for your dog, visit our product directory. To find a dental specialist near you, visit our specialists directory! Please consult with your vet before making any changes to your dog’s health plan.

    pinterest pin of German shepherd getting teeth brushed
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