Brushing Your Dog's Teeth

Posted on: 25 March 2016

Many pet owners do not brush their dog's teeth. This is risky because dogs can develop many of the same health problems as humans. However, if you start early, brushing your dog's teeth does not have to be difficult. 

Use The Right Toothbrush

When brushing your dog's teeth, make sure to use a moistened toothbrush that has soft bristles. The brush should be designed specifically for brushing pet teeth. Also, pick a brush that is designed for your dog's size. This will be compatible with the size of your dog's teeth. You may be able to use a smaller brush for a larger dog, but the toothbrush used for a smaller dog must fit inside its mouth.

Use Doggy Toothpaste

Brush your dog's teeth with toothpaste designed specifically for dogs. This type of toothpaste is flavored to taste like chicken, which makes your dog more receptive to having its teeth brushed. If your dog is suffering from periodontitis, your vet might prescribe a special fluoride toothpaste. Otherwise, the ideal toothpastes include:

  • Zinc gluconate

  • Chlorhexidine

  • Hexametaphosphate

Do not use any other toothpastes since they can be harmful to your dog.

Keep The Session Short And Enjoyable

The session should be short and positive for your dog. To get your dog used to the flavor of the toothpaste, put some of it on your finger to let it lick it off. After this, provide your dog with a treat as a reward to create a positive association. The younger you start your dog with a teeth-brushing regimen, the more comfortable your dog will feel with the process. However, this won't impact the cleanliness of your dog's mouth since much of your dog's teeth will not have grown in yet.

Switch To Dry Food

If you are having a difficult time brushing your dog's teeth, at the very least, you should switch from soft food to dry food. Soft food sticks to your dog's teeth, which can contribute to oral decay. Chew toys are also capable of strengthening your dog's gums and teeth.

Know How To Brush Your Dog's Teeth

To brush each individual tooth, you will need to lift your dog's lip to expose the tooth. Brush in slow and gentle motions. Brush in a very gentle motion around your teeth and gums. Not only will you not want to hurt your dog or brush off his or her enamel, but you will also not want to discourage your dog from cooperating in the future. Don't forget to brush the back upper molars, since those often accumulate a lot of tarter. For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from South Hills Animal Hospital.