Dog owners today are more aware of the health and well-being of their “furbaby”. With this in mind, many routines are followed daily that often include more than just letting the dog out to take care of business or refreshing its food and water. Today pets even have their own dental hygiene products, such as toothpaste and toothbrushes. These products are very important in aiding with keeping the furbaby healthy as well as the owner who enjoys the fresh breath that comes with taking time to care for the furbaby’s teeth and gums.
Properly brushing a dogs teeth can be important because it will aide in the removal of plaque from the teeth. Plaque, if left unattended can cause health problems such as periodontal disease and gum disease.
The technique used to brush a dogs teeth involves three steps. Step one is to choose the correct toothbrush. Step two involves choosing and using the correct toothpaste. Step three is actually brushing the dogs teeth correctly. After performing each of these steps, the final thing to remember is to get your dog used to having its teeth brushed by following a routine. Brushing their teeth in the same location at the same time each day or every other day will make the procedure easier on the dog and on the owner.
Step one is to choose and use the correct toothbrush. Using a toothbrush designed for a dog is best. These brushes will have a long handle, an angled head and extra soft bristles. Along with brushes, a finger toothbrush, which fits over the tip of a finger, is also available at some pet supply stores. Using the correct toothbrush is important to the comfort of the dog. The wrong toothbrush could injure the dog’s gums and make the procedure harder next time it is done.
Step two is to choose the correct toothpaste. The toothpaste specially formulated for dogs should be used. Do not use toothpaste for humans, human toothpaste is designed to be spit out, not swallowed and could cause stomach problems for the dog. Baking soda should also be avoided, as it sometimes will have a high sodium content, which can cause problems for dogs with a heart condition. Petrodex toothpaste for dogs along with Nolvadent Chlorhexidine Rinse are both designed for dogs. When apply the toothpaste to the toothbrush, try to get the toothpaste between the bristles instead of on top of the brush. Placing the toothpaste in this position will allow the toothpaste to get closer to the teeth. The correct toothpaste positioned on the correct toothbrush will bring positive results every time.
After choosing the correct toothbrush, toothpaste and placing the toothpaste correctly on the toothbrush, it is time to correctly brush the dog’s teeth. Starting slowly is very important. Introducing this procedure to the dog has to be done very slowly and correctly to keep from this becoming a bad experience. To begin, simply wipe the dog’s teeth with a washcloth or gauze, mimicking the procedure that will be used with the toothbrush. This should be done twice a day for about two weeks, to familiarize the dog with their teeth being messed with. Next, soak the toothbrush in warm water and brush the dog’s teeth daily for several days, until the dog is used to this procedure, the continue on by adding the toothpaste to the toothbrush.
To correctly brush your dog’s teeth, place the toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle at the gum margin where the teeth and gums meet. Move the toothbrush in an oval pattern, gently forcing the bristle ends into the area around the base of the teeth and into the space between the teeth. After completing the oval motion, ten short back and forth motions complete the procedure before moving to the next area. Three to four teeth should be brushed at one time with the most attention given to the outside of the upper teeth.
Dog dental hygiene should be performed daily or at least every other day. Brushing your dog’s teeth with specially formulated dog toothpaste will help reduce halitosis and dental diseases as well as aid the owner in knowing if there are any other problems with their pet. Halitosis, or bad breath, can indicate many different health problems with a dog. If the halitosis is persistent after the teeth brushing, a trip to the vet is in order.