When should I brush my dog’s teeth?
Like us, it is ideal to brush your dogs teeth at least twice daily. For many dogs, once brushing becomes a part of their daily routine they will begin to expect and enjoy it. Brushing three times a week is the minimum recommendation to help remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation.
It is best to teach your dog to accept tooth brushing while he is still a puppy. If you have an older dog, the training process may take a little longer, but it is still well worth the effort.
What type of toothbrush should I use?
Commercial toothbrushes are available that are specifically designed for use in dogs. These include:
For some dogs, it is acceptable to use a very soft toothbrush designed for use in human babies.
The type of toothbrush you use depends a little on the size of your dog and a little on your own dexterity. Many pet owners find it easier to use a finger brush, especially when just beginning to brush their dogs teeth. Check with your veterinarian if you are uncertain of which brush to use.
Regardless of the type of toothbrush you use, it is important to be gentle and go slowly as it is easy to accidentally poke the tip of the toothbrush against the gums and cause some irritation.
Do You Really Need To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?
Many doggy owners often ask, “do I really need to “brush” my dog’s teeth?” Can’t I give them a dental chew or rawhide to clean their teeth? Well, the good news is that the occasional dog chew is a good idea if given responsibly to your pup, but that’s not all she wrote.
Luckily for dogs, they aren’t as prone to cavities as humans. However, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, more than two-thirds of dogs over three have some form of active gum disease, making it the most common disease in pet dogs.1
Just like us, our pets can develop periodontal disease when plaque from bacteria builds up on and around their teeth (cue toothpaste commercial music). If you don’t remove this plaque, it gets hard and turns into tartar. Tartar, a calcified matrix of plaque and bacteria, irritates and inflames your doggie’s gums and can cause anything from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontal disease.
Without intervention, all of this can lead to severe pain for your dog, tooth loss, abscesses in their mouth, and/or bacterial infections that can spread throughout the bloodstream to the kidneys, liver, heart, or brain. Unfortunately, periodontal disease is irreversible, but prevention is possible with regular dog teeth cleaning.
Should You Rinse After Brushing?
After a long day, what dog owner doesn’t love the joyful welcome they receive from their beloved pets when they walk in the door? But when you bend down to greet your happy hound, does their bad doggy breath make you cringe? That stinky smell could be more than just a sign that Fido ate something he shouldn’t have. Often bad breath, just as for humans, is a sign that your dog’s dental health is not what it should be. So what does a responsible dog owner do? Table Of Contents