Take Care of Your Pet’s Pearly Whites: Your Guide to Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
According to one survey, only about two percent of Americans brush their dog’s teeth.
Based on recommendations from the experts, brushing your dog’s teeth is definitely just as important as brushing your own.
However, if you’re wondering how to brush your dog’s teeth, it’ll be a little different than how you brush your own teeth.
Understand Brushing is Important
Brushing teeth on your dog is incredibly important. Just like you can get periodontal disease, they can get it as well. It’s even more common in older dogs who have never had their teeth brushed.
When they have periodontal disease, they can also get gingivitis which can also lead to plaque. Once this happens, they could also start to have rotten tooth sockets.
From there, if it’s not treated, they can also start to lose their teeth, which will be very painful for them.
But you can avoid all of this if you just take a little bit of time to occasionally brush your dog’s teeth.
Choose the Perfect Place and Time
When you brush your dog’s teeth, you’ll need to find a good place and the right time to do it.
To brush your dog’s teeth, you’ll need somewhere that has some decent lighting. You’ll need to be able to see what you’re doing, especially if you need to reach back farther in their mouths.
You’ll also want to find somewhere where the dog will be comfortable as well. Find somewhere you can sit down with your dog. If you stand above them and try to do it, your dog may feel threatened and intimidated.
During the first time you brush their teeth, they may have a lot of anxiety, but if you get down with them, they may feel calmer.
In case your dog still doesn’t calm down and freaks out, don’t push it. You can try again later when you find the perfect time to brush their teeth.
To find the right time, you may need to start incorporating it into their daily routine. The first time you do it shouldn’t be the time that you shove the toothbrush back to their farthest tooth.
Try building your way up to it. You should try and brush their teeth at least three times a week to help prevent diseases that could also cause infections.
Get Toothpaste and a Toothbrush
Obviously, before you can start brushing your dog’s teeth, you’ll need the proper tools. Just like brushing your teeth, all you’ll need is a toothbrush and the best dog toothpaste brand you can find.
When you get toothpaste, they’re normally not mint flavored. Instead, they have flavors like malt or poultry. When you brush your dog’s teeth, never use human toothpaste. This could end up being harmful to your dog.
When you do find a toothpaste, try putting some on the tip of your finger first. Let your dog smell it and lick it to know that it’s okay. If your dog still won’t lick it or try it again after the first one, they probably aren’t going to like it when you try and brush their teeth with it.
Don’t worry, there are all kinds of different flavors out there that you can try instead.
Once you find a good toothpaste, you’ll need to find a toothbrush as well. You can normally find these at any pet supply store, but if you can’t, you can ask your vet as well.
Like our toothbrushes, they have a handle, but this one is normally longer and curved so you can reach your dog’s farthest back teeth.
Once you have a good toothbrush, you can start showing it to your dog as well. Let them know that it’s nothing to be scared of.
How to Brush Their Teeth
Now it finally comes down to brushing your dog’s teeth. Once you’ve gotten them used to the toothbrush and toothpaste, you can try and brush their teeth without causing them to worry.
To work your way up to brushing their teeth, try just putting your fingers in their gums and on their teeth. That way they’ll get used to feeling something up there.
If your dog is trained correctly, they should be used to having their mouth handled and shouldn’t bite you. To open their mouth, lift their top lip up, and then their bottom lip should be pulled down.
When you brush their teeth, do it in small circles. When you brush their gums, make sure you don’t brush too hard because their gums may start bleeding. Try brushing their teeth for at least two minutes each time.
Brush Them Regularly
While you should aim to brush your dog’s teeth three times a week, ideally you would be able to brush it once a day.
If your dog won’t let you brush it every day, there are other things you can get them to chew on that will brush their teeth for them. For example, there are some chew toys that will help to clean their teeth and remove plaque as they bite on it.
Learn More About How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
These are only a few tips to keep in mind when learning how to brush your dog’s teeth, but really it all boils down to helping them be comfortable and calm.
If you can achieve that, it will be a lot easier for you. It can be stressful to try and keep up with the ever-changing recommendations for how to keep your pet healthy, but we provide so much information on our website!
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