All of us are aware of the vitality of proper dental hygiene. We visit a dentist at least thrice a year and there are several products that help us keep our teeth and mouth healthy. Just as dental health is important for human beings, it is equally important for a dog. In spite of the multiple things that they chew on or eat, healthy gums and teeth are one of the most important parts of maintaining the overall health of your pup.
Over time, dogs get huge build ups of bacteria and plaque which might lead to gingivitis and loss of teeth. Dogs can break their teeth while chewing on things that are not edible and this often leads to abscesses and infection. Bacteria that arise from poor dental health can work its way into the remaining system of the dog, leading to heart issues and other cardiovascular problems.
Is it really necessary to brush your dog’s teeth?
Now are you wondering whether or not you actually need to brush your dog’s teeth? Brushing the teeth of your dog is probably the most important dental routine. There are multiple alternative products to improve their oral health but none of them can be ever compared to old-fashioned tooth brushing.
Brushing removes bacteria more than any other home dental procedure and hence it is an unavoidable necessity, especially you wish to have a healthy dog. Oral bacteria can hide, tuck itself under the gumline of the dog, rest in between teeth and coat their tongue as well. In fact, the scariest part is what this kind of bacteria can harm when remained below the surface.
So, unless you want a toothless dog, you should commit to a regular dental routine for your dog. Even worse, bacteria can even enter their bloodstream through their gums. Blood can carry the bacteria to various other parts of the body and this can lead to infection and damage in other important organs like liver, heart and kidneys.
A step-by-step guide to brushing your dog’s teeth
Now that you know the importance of brushing your dog’s teeth, let’s get started with the steps to follow. For dogs, brushing teeth is an entirely foreign practice and hence you can expect them to be resistant towards it. Here are the simple steps that you can follow in order to brush your dog’s teeth.
Choose the right place and time to brush
If you have to reduce the stress and fear associated with brushing teeth, you have to ensure choosing a place and time where your dog can stay as relaxed and calm as possible. Does your dog remain grumpy in the morning but changes his mood after a long day of playing? If yes, choose an appropriate time. Also make sure that the place you choose is free of distractions and is also quiet. You can reach out to more places inside his mouth.
Have the right tools for brushing your dog’s teeth
All dogs are different and buying a standard toothbrush might not help your dog. Hence, you should look forward to various dental care tools that work best for your pet. Few such worthy options are toothbrush, finger brush, dental wipes and toothpaste. The toothpaste that you choose should not just be safe but it should also be liked by the dog. Don’t use toothpaste that is made for humans.
Do a taste test with your dog
In order to let your dog get used to the tools that you select, it’s always a smart idea to let him taste the toothpaste at least once. Whenever he realizes that the toothpaste is tasty, he will be eager to allow you to brush his teeth. Take a tiny dab of toothpaste on your finger and allow him to sniff it. Praise him so that he knows that he’s doing a great job. Once he tastes it, give him a small reward.
Put your hands inside his mouth
This is the not-so-fun part of the entire procedure of brushing your dog’s teeth. However, one of the best ways in which you can make your dog comfortable with the entire process is by gradually touching the gums and teeth with your fingers. Begin by lifting his lips, holding the jaws in a place and massaging his gums gently with your fingers. Let him feel that this experience is not scary or painful.
Introduce the brush to him
Now that your dog seems to be okay with you fussing inside his mouth, introduce the toothbrush to him. Try to make him understand that this is a dental tool and allow him to sniff it. Keep some handy treats for when he touches, sniffs and licks the brush. As he gradually get closer to the brush, put a small dab on the brush and let him lick it off. This will give him a sensation of the brush.
Try new positions of brushing
Both sitting and standing are the two most common positions to brush the teeth of your dog but in case he is not accessible in that position, you can try out new ones. Try some new position through which you can get a clear view of what you’re doing, where his teeth are and whether or not you’re reaching out to all of them.
Take a break
Are you finding yourself extremely frustrated or stressed while brushing the teeth of your dog? If yes, it’s time to take a break. You may find your dog losing his patience on you and this is when you should let him go for a while. Let him relax and then you can start trying again. If you try to force your way through brushing his teeth, this can get an extremely frustrating experience. He will become fearful of the entire experience and will become repulsive about the entire idea.
Therefore, now that you’re aware of the steps that you need to take to brush your dog’s teeth, what are you waiting for? Get the best brushing tools for your dog and start experimenting with the entire process. Don’t lose hope until you’re successful.