How often do you brush your dogs teeth? We’re guessing the answer is ‘not enough.‘ Did you know that we should be brushing our dog’s teeth every single day? Brushing your dog’s teeth is incredibly important. Poor dental health can lead to a whole host of health problems: periodontal disease, cardiovascular problems, bad breath, and more.
Introducing your dog to the toothbrush in a gentle and positive manner is essential in order to avoid creating a fearful reaction in your dog that could last a lifetime. Try brushing your dog’s teeth for the first time after they’ve just come in from a walk or after a play session. This way, they should be worn out and less likely to struggle. Understand that the first few times you practice, you might only get a tooth or two brushed before your dog needs a break. That’s ok! It could take several weeks to work up to a full brushing, but as long as you’re moving at your pup’s pace, all will be well. Always end your tooth brushing experiences on a positive note by giving your dog praise and a treat reward at the end of the process.
To brush your dogs teeth:
1. Use a dog toothbrush or finger brush and apply a dog-safe toothpaste.
2. Lift up your dogs upper lip and begin brushing teeth, working back toward the molars.
3. Gently brush the gums and small front teeth before working to the opposite side.
4. Reward your dog with a treat for a job well done! Bonus points if you’re using a teeth cleaning treat to boot!
Be sure that you always use a toothpaste made specifically for dogs and never human toothpaste. Doggie toothpaste comes in canine friendly flavors such as beef and poultry which makes the experience all the more enjoyable for your pup. Also, avoid using baking soda as a homemade toothpaste. The high alkaline content of baking soda can upset your dog’s belly. Most instances of periodontal disease occur on the outer surfaces of the teeth, so this is the best area to concentrate your brushing efforts. Be sure to rinse off your dogs toothbrush in hot water after use and to wash your own hands thoroughly afterwards.