What type of toothpaste can I use for my dog?
Human toothpaste should never be used for your pooch. Some of these toothpastes contain xylitol, which is extremely toxic for dogs. Also, human toothpaste was not designed to be swallowed (and dogs don’t know how to rinse and spit!) and comes in flavors that are unpleasant to dogs.
Instead, use a toothpaste specifically designed for dogs! It’s safe to eat, and most dogs enjoy the taste, with flavor options such as chicken.
Why is brushing my dog’s teeth important?
Just like humans, a dog’s oral health affects their overall well-being. By tending to your pet’s teeth, you can help prevent tooth loss, dental disease, gingivitis, and other serious health issues.
Plaque—a thin film on the teeth—accumulates due to food and saliva. This film can be removed by brushing. Left untreated, plaque hardens into tartar, which is much harder to remove.
Tartar accumulation leads to periodontal disease, a condition affecting not only the teeth, but also the structures around them (the gums, periodontal ligament that holds the tooth in place, and even the jaw bone). This can lead to extreme pain and inflammation inside your dogs mouth.
Plus, bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream through inflamed gums, leading to bacterial deposits on the heart or kidneys. In that way, your dog’s mouth affects their whole body.
You can help to remove plaque and prevent periodontal disease by brushing your pup’s teeth on a daily basis.
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.
Easy way to brush a dog’s teeth
Dental care is very important in dogs and they require regular dental care to prevent the build-up of plaque. We recommend brushing your dogs teeth 2-4 times a week. Watch our video guide above on how to brush your dogs teeth.
Brushing your dogs teeth can be quite tricky, as some dogs may not allow you near their mouth. But if it is possible, you should follow our guide below.