Have you seen those cute videos of dogs while they are getting their teeth brushed? Looks funny and adorable right? Well, maintaining your dog’s dental hygiene is extremely important. In this article, we discuss why and how to maintain the dental hygiene of you furry darlings.
Brushing your Dog’s Teeth
Vets suggest brushing your dogs’ teeth to prevent bacteria and food buildup in their mouths, which can lead to infections, gum problems and build-up of plaque. However, as you may be knowing, every dog has his own personality. Your friends’ dog might be an absolute angel and let them brush his teeth without any trouble, whereas your dog will not let you get anywhere close to him with a toothbrush.
Some tips you should know before you brush your dogs’ teeth:
- You can use any toothbrush with soft bristles. Using a wet cloth or a cotton swab is also an option
- Human toothpaste must NEVER be used to brush your dogs’ teeth. Special dog toothpaste in various flavors is available which can be used. Baking soda is also an alternative which can be used in place of toothpaste.
- You must be very gentle while brushing your dogs’ teeth, just like you are for yourself. Harsh movements can hurt their gums.
- Ease into brushing your dogs’ teeth. They might resist initially but after a few times, get used to it. So start off by cleaning their front teeth and then slowly move backward.
- Once they are used to you brushing them, make sure to clean the back upper molars and canines as they are the ones which usually have a build-up of tartar.
- Rewarding your dog after brushing their teeth will act as a positive reinforcement for the brushing process.
Did you know? There are other ways to keep your dogs’ teeth and mouth clean which also will help their bad breath disappear.
Feeding your dog the right kind of food can not only keep his body healthy but will also help make your dogs’ teeth healthy. Foods including whole foods, meats, vegetables, and fruits are much better than cereal grains, and ready-made meals which usually stick to their teeth.
Ready-made snacks are one of the most harmful foods for your dogs’ health and dental hygiene. They contain ingredients like sugar and fats which will not only harm your dogs’ health but also stick to their teeth and cause dental issues. Alternative snacks like certain vegetables like carrots and fruits like apples and pumpkin are healthier options. Not only do these snacks not stick to your dogs’ teeth but they also help in removing any plaque which gets collected.
In case your dog is not keen on eating his veggies, other snacks like different forms of dried meat are also a good option which will keep your dogs’ teeth healthy and clean.
Toys help clean your dogs’ teeth by scraping off any food and plaque which has collected on their teeth. Hard rubber and nylon toys are the best for serving this purpose. So now your dog can have fun while keeping his teeth clean!
Setting up a routine to keep your dog’s teeth clean is very important. As mentioned above, brushing is not the only way to maintain your dogs’ dental hygiene. You can mix and match the above techniques to keep your dogs’ mouth and teeth clean. We understand that it is unrealistic to expect to keep cleaning your dogs’ teeth every day and after every meal. However, once a week you can use some dogs’ toothpaste or baking soda on a wet cloth and rub it on their teeth at least once a week.
Your dog might resist at the beginning, so start with a small portion of their mouths, but as you keep doing it regularly they will get used to it and you will be able to soon clean their entire mouth. Make sure to be gentle while rubbing their teeth as you do not want to injure their gums.
After taking all these precautions, dental issues can still occur. Offensive odor from their mouth and color of their gums can give you a clue in case any problem exists. Their gums should be pink in color and in case you notice a brown build-up on their teeth or their gums are red/white in color, visit the vet to get it checked. Visiting the vet for a regular checkup is a must to make sure that your dog remains healthy and happy.
Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels