Dog ownership comes with a lot of responsibility, from feedings to daily walks to plenty of play time. But don’t forget to take care of your furry friend’s oral health too! While it’s important for your vet to check your dog’s teeth during annual exams and to even schedule a professional dental cleaning occasionally, brushing your dog’s teeth at least a few times a week is another way to keep them healthy for years to come.
Why You Should Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Imagine never brushing your teeth and only occasionally chewing on a stick to scrape off any plaque and tartar buildup. That’s exactly how your dog feels when they only have toys and bones to chew on as a way to clean their teeth. Dogs can’t maintain their oral health like their wolf ancestors do because their diets are completely different. Many commercial dog foods are rich in carbohydrates, which can stick to your dog’s teeth and cause dental problems in the future. It’s very important to make sure that you keep your dog’s teeth clean on a consistent basis in order to prevent painful gum disease and bad breath.
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Although it’s necessary to brush your dog’s teeth to keep them healthy, they may not take to getting their teeth brushed easily to start, so make sure to take things slowly. Make sure to reward your dog with healthy treats and praise when they cooperate with you!
First, try simply touching your dog’s mouth and gently lifting their lips. If your dog doesn’t seem to mind that, try touching their gums and teeth. You can then work your way up to using a wet piece of gauze and running that over your dog’s teeth and gums. You can later introduce them to dog-friendly toothpaste instead of just water and rub it over their teeth with the gauze. Over time, you can introduce your dog to a dog-friendly toothbrush as well. This may take a few weeks or even a few months, so be patient. Remember to never use toothpaste that is made for humans on your dog, as it is toxic to them!
Don’t Forget About Your Oral Health Too
Humans get bad breath and gum disease too! Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day is the best way to prevent any dental issues in the future. Don’t forget to visit your dentist twice a year for more comprehensive preventative care as well. At Covenant Dentistry, our goal is to help you have a healthy smile. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!Contact Us