Maintaining a healthy mouth is essential to your pet’s overall well-being. Dental disease can lead to bad breath, painful chewing and tooth loss. Regular dental examinations and professional cleanings are important to maintaining your pet’s dental health. An uncomfortable mouth can lead to an unhappy pet. You can take these steps to keep your dog’s teeth healthy and clean!
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
This may seem like a daunting task, but here are 5 steps to help you brush your dog’s teeth successfully to keep their pearly whites healthy:
- Choose the right toothbrush—There are dog toothbrushes that closely resemble human toothbrushes, but they are smaller and have softer bristles. Some dogs better tolerate a finger toothbrush, which fits over your finger and gives you the ability to access some of those hard-to-reach teeth.
- Use a dog-friendly toothpaste—Fluoride is toxic to dogs, so never use a human toothpaste on your pup. There are many pet-friendly options (and they often come in flavors your dog will love, like beef or poultry). If you’d rather make your own, mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1 teaspoon water.
- Wear him out—Brushing your dog’s teeth will usually be easier if he’s tired and calm. Take him for a long walk or let him run around the dog park for a while before attempting to clean his teeth.
- Brush his teeth—Working in circular motions, you’ll begin in the back of the mouth and move toward the front. Focus on the outside surface of each tooth because that’s where most of the plaque and tartar will build up. If he tolerates it, then work on the inside surface of each tooth.
- Don’t force it—If your dog shows signs that he is scared or uncomfortable, stop brushing, give him affection, offer a treat, and try again tomorrow.
Give Food, Treats, and Toys That Promote Oral Health
There are some dog foods and treats specifically formulated to address dental disease in dogs. Chew toys can help prevent plaque buildup.
Visit Medway Animal Hospital for Regular Preventive Care Visits
Your dog should visit us at least once per year so we can evaluate his overall health, including his oral health. Depending on the condition of his teeth, we may recommend a professional dental cleaning for your dog, which gives us the ability to remove bacteria from above the gum line to prevent gum disease.
Let’s talk about how we can help you care for your pet’s dental needs. Contact us today to set up an appointment!