Don’t you just love it when you come back home after a long day just to have your best buddy, wag his tail and jump in excitement? It is a fulfilling feeling when your dog reaches up to you and licks your face. The only thing that can dampen that moment of joy is your dog’s bad breath. Oral hygiene is an essential part of the overall grooming for your dog. Also, clean teeth have advantages like it can improve your dog’s happiness and health.
Plaque, tartar, and gingivitis not only lead to bad breath and loss of teeth but can also lead to major infections, affecting your dog’s kidneys, liver, and heart. So, frequent brushing ensures your dog’s health and longevity.
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Using 4 Simple Steps
To brush your dog’s teeth you need to get a customized toothbrush and toothpaste only for them. Toothbrushes come in different sizes depending upon the size of your dog. You cannot brush their teeth using regular toothpaste which is meant for humans. As your dog can’t rinse they will swallow the toothpaste which can be toxic to dogs.
Once you get the toothbrush and toothpaste, you need to make your dog familiar with your fingers inside its mouth so you can start with randomly touching around the dog’s mouth and muzzle with your fingers.
- Start by offering your dog a taste of the toothpaste. This will help you determine how well it likes the toothpaste. Dog toothpaste is often flavored with beef or chicken. It will also help the dog to get used to the taste, making it more likely consent the toothpaste when it is on the toothbrush. Do this for a few days.
- After a few days time, let him taste the toothpaste, then run your finger along the gums of the upper teeth.
- Now repeat the process with the toothbrush. Gently hold your dog’s upper lips and then take the brush and start brushing its teeth in circular motion. Work from back to front. It should take around one minute to brush your dog’s teeth.
- Once you are done brushing the outside, it is time to try brushing the insides. Put one hand over the top of the muzzle, lift the upper lips and open your dog’s mouth. If the dog is unwilling to open, then you can try applying a little pressure. Once the mouth is open you can try to brush but using a gentle hand so that there no discomfort for your dog.
- Do not try to brush the entire mouth at first. It is essential to brush the outer side of their teeth as the movement of the tongue over the inside surface keeps them relatively free of plaque. But if your dog allows, cleaning the inside surface makes a big difference.
You can also look at this helpful video to see how to brush your dog’s teeth:
Other Dental Care Items
There are many dog toys which are designed to clean your dog’s teeth and offer mechanical plaque removal. But make sure you do not use toys which are coarse as they tend to wear down the teeth or hard toys which might lead to breakage of teeth (if your dog is an aggressive chewer). Supervise your dog when he is chewing a toy.
Hard kibbles are great for keeping plaque from accumulating on the teeth. Also avoid feeding your dog sweet treats as they can increase the tartar and plaque build-up on teeth.
There are some dog treats, which your dog would love to have, and which are specifically made to control tartar and plaque build-up, thus keeping oral health in check. I recommend the Greenies Dog Dental Chews Dog Treats. I have found these are very effective at cleaning the teeth and help to freshen the breath at the same time.
Make a routine as it is ideal to brush your dog’s teeth daily but if you brush it at least twice a week then trust me you are better than most dog owners! It is best to take your dog for professional oral grooming once a year too. Also, end the cleaning sessions on a happy note with giving your dog its favorite treat so that they look up to cleaning with more enthusiasm.
So, are you ready to whiten and brighten your dog’s smile?