How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth
Oral and dental issues in dogs is one of the most common things that vets see as a lot of owners simply don’t know how to take care of their dog’s teeth or didn’t realise that they had to.
Whilst it is not a very difficult task to keep your dog’s oral hygiene up to standards, it is something that you need to know about as well as contribute to.
To help with that, I’ve put together this short guide to help you learn about how to keep your dog’s teeth clean.
Do I Need To Brush My Dog’s Teeth?
Brushing your dog’s teeth is something that you should do. Just like humans, dogs can get plaque build-up on their teeth and also suffer from gum problems if their teeth are not cleaned properly.
Using a toothbrush to keep your dog’s teeth clean is one of the easiest ways to do this. There are special toothbrushes that are shaped so that you can get to every angle of your dog’s mouth. You should brush your dog’s teeth once a day.
Should I Use Human Toothpaste To Clean My Dog’s Teeth?
No, dogs require very different components in their toothpaste. There are toothpastes made specifically for dogs and there are ones for both puppies and adult dogs.
You should make sure to use these and if you dog has had dental problems before, you should maybe consult with your vet about some specialist toothpastes that may be able to help prevent the problem from reoccurring.
My Dog Hates The Toothbrush, Do I Need To Use It?
Thankfully, there are easy ways for you to clean your dog’s teeth if they absolutely hate the toothbrush. You can get specialised toys and treats to keep your dog’s mouth healthy as they chew.
However, make sure that you get natural and healthy treats, just like our treats you get for training your dog. However, it is still best to brush your dog’s teeth if you can and give them these dental hygiene treats and toys in addition.
How Do I Get My Dog Used To Having Its Teeth Cleaned?
The best way to get your dog used to having their teeth cleaned is to start early. Start by doing small sessions to not scare your dog and put them off. It is easiest if you get them used to you touching their mouth, this is easiest to do when they are a puppy and are in their chewing stages.
After they are used to your hand being near their mouth, introduce them to the toothpaste or tooth gel that you are planning on using. Let them lick it off your finger so that they are used to the taste and it is first presented to them on a non-threatening stimulus.
Once your dog is used to the taste of toothpaste, you can slowly start to rub the toothpaste along their teeth and gums to get them used to the feeling. Do this for a couple of days before introducing them to the toothbrush.
When first introducing them to the toothbrush, let your dog lick it with the toothpaste on first rather than trying to force it. Once they are comfortable with the toothbrush, slowly start brushing their teeth for short sessions, building up the length of time every day that you do it.
What Are Some Signs Of Dental Health Problems?
Whilst preventing any problems is a key priority, you should also know when to spot the sings of bad dental health. Catching any problems early on is the best way to get them treated.
- Bad breath – Whilst puppies have a distinct smelling breath, foul breath is a sign of ill oral hygiene. This is most commonly a symptom of plaque and rotting teeth.
- Off-coloured teeth – Unhealthy teeth will quickly turn either a yellowish or brown colour.
- Red or bleeding gums – This can be a sign of plaque build-up, rotting teeth and also ulcers and abscesses.
- Weight loss – Rapid weight loss is a very common sign of a variety of oral health problems. This will likely be because they will be in a lot of pain because of their issue and this will greatly put them off their food, causing weight loss. You should also look for other symptoms of mouth pain such as inability to chew treats or hold toys in their mouths for long periods of time.
To summarise, taking care of your dog’s teeth is a simple thing to do, but it is also a crucial thing and it should not be ignored.