Tips for Keeping Your Dog's Teeth Clean

While dogs’ teeth are not as prone to cavities as humans’ teeth are, they still develop dental problems like a build-up of plaque, tartar and gingivitis. And just like humans, dogs can develop life-threatening illnesses such as liver, kidney and heart disease if they have bad dental hygiene.

If you, just like the rest of us, struggle with pet teeth cleaning, then here are a few tips on how you can ensure good dog oral hygiene.

Choosing the Best Dog Toothbrush

Choosing the right toothbrush is important to easing the dog dental care. If your fur baby is over 10kg, then it would be best to use a child’s toothbrush. However, unless you buy a special toothbrush, a dog finger toothbrush is the best option for small breeds.

Use Dog Toothpaste

Do not use toothpaste meant for humans for your dog because these toothpastes usually contain fluoride, something that is seriously poisonous for dogs. Get a flavored toothpaste that has been specially formulated for dogs. The flavored toothpaste will also make the entire process of dog dental care more pleasant for your little companion.

Conduct a Little Taste Test

Offer your fur baby a taste of the toothpaste so that he can get used to its taste and texture. In fact, you can use toothpaste as a reward. This acts as positive reinforcement and encourages him towards behavior wanted. By offering the toothpaste as a treat to your dog, you also get to know whether he likes the flavor or not.

Choose the Right Time

Choosing the right time for dog teeth cleaning is critical. Pick a time when your fur baby is relaxed and calm. Make dog teeth care a part of your daily routine so that your pet becomes used to you touching him around his muzzle. A regular schedule will also get your dog used to the dog toothbrush and the dog toothpaste.

Choosing the Right Stance

During the process of pet dental cleaning, do ensure that you choose the right stance to make your dog more comfortable. Try sitting down or kneeling in front of him or to his side. Do not stand over your dog, hold him down or adopt a threatening stance.

Practice this step as many times as it is necessary to make your dog comfortable with the process.

Do Not Introduce a Toothbrush Immediately

Before you start using a toothbrush, use your finger to get your little darling used to the pressure on his gums. The first thing you need to do is get your fur baby used to you lifting his upper lip. Practice this frequently with your finger – no toothbrush yet, please.

Then, proceed to rubbing his gums with your finger gently. This is also something you must do many times so that your pet gets used to the idea of having something alien in his mouth.

Finally, once your dog is comfortable with these movements, introduce the toothbrush.

The Process of Brushing

You have finally reached the stage where you can start the process of brushing your dog’s teeth. Dog plaque removal is important, so ensure that you angle the bristles of the toothbrush in such a way that they reach the gum line. If you place the toothbrush at a 45° angle, you will be able to reach the gum line and remove the plaque.

Next, you need to move the toothbrush in a round and round motion, starting at the gum line. Brush each dog tooth for a couple of seconds each, but remember to give your fur baby regular breaks during the process.

If you cannot get to the inside of your dog’s teeth, don’t stress out. Your fur baby’s rough tongue will do enough to keep those parts of his teeth clean.

Ensure that you use a soothing tone and keep encouraging your fur baby while you brush his teeth. Give him lots of love and pats to keep him calm.

Dog Dental Cleaning

The entire pet dental cleaning process does not stop at brushing his teeth regularly. You should also take your fur baby to the dog dentist at least once a year for more thorough dog plague removal process.

If you notice at any time that your pet is getting uncomfortable or stressed out, then stop at once. If you are not sure what to do, then speak to the dog dentist who can advise you on how to proceed.