5 Tips When Cleaning Your Dogs’ Teeth
Cleaning your dog’s teeth is part of maintaining optimum canine health. In the same way, keeping our teeth and oral cavities clean and germ-free can spell overall wellness for us. However, because there are some important differences between human and canine oral and dental anatomy, it is up to us to help our pooches establish and maintain a healthy set of pearly whites. Here are 5 tips you can follow when cleaning your dog’s teeth.
- Start them young
Dogs are not really that very particular about cleaning their teeth. They actually don’t mind if they have cavities forming in their pearly whites. What they do mind is when you start inserting your finger or a funny-looking device right into their oral cavities without adequately preparing them for the experience. Just as first-time bathing can be stressful, brushing your pooch’s teeth for the first time can bring a lot of stress to your pet. This is especially true if it is already grown-up. That is why it is best to start training your dog to learn to love the feel of a canine toothbrush on its teeth while your pet is still a puppy. This way when it does grow up it will already be accustomed to the routine.
- Use only dog-appropriate teeth cleaning tools and materials
Training your pooch to like the process of cleaning the teeth will mean nothing if you don’t use the correct tools for the job. While it is good to know that you can use any soft-bristled human toothbrush you may have at home, it is a must that you resist this urge as these toothbrushes are not inherently designed for canine dentition. Likewise, under no circumstance are you supposed to use the same toothpaste that you’re using. Human toothpaste contains chemicals that can irritate your pooch’s tummy. Dogs are not trained to gargle and spit the foamy paste. As such they will most certainly swallow the toothpaste rather than spit it out. It is for this reason that you have to purchase toothpaste that’s specifically designed for dogs.
- Give your pooch dental chews
There are a number of canine chews that are useful in the removal of food particles or debris that may be present on your pooch’s dentition. Examples of these include bully sticks, nylon or rubber chews, chicken strips, or even cow ears. Leaving debris on the surface of the teeth can provide a rich haven for microorganisms to multiply, increasing the risk of developing gum disease in your pet.
- Add in some canine dental treats
You might want to consider using dental treats now and again as they are especially-formulated not only to clean your dog’s teeth but also remove plaque and tartar buildup and freshen your pooch’s breath. These are typically available in various shapes, sizes, and even flavors so you can actually choose the best one for your pooch – one that it really loves.
- Consider professional cleaning
When ordinary toothbrushing or giving treats and dog chews are simply not giving you the kind of result that you want for your dog’s oral health, it is time to call in the professionals. There are veterinarians today that also specialize in veterinary dentistry. They are your best bet in making sure that your pet’s dentition is healthy and strong. They can also help you address any current or potential problem in a more effective and meaningful manner. Technically, experts recommend including dental checkups in your routine veterinary visit.
Taking care of your dog’s dentition helps ensure optimum health for your pooch. By starting them young, using the right tools and products, and seeking professional help, we can feel a lot more confident about our pet’s state of oral health.
Jenny Spiers is mum of 3 and a true animal lover with 3 dogs, 2 cats and a parrot called Charlie. Heading up the content for MyPetNeedsThat.com amongst a busy family schedule, her goal is to try help people all around the world become better pet owners.