8 Tips For Good Dog Oral Hygiene
Dog Oral Hygiene is an important part of caring for your pet. Just like humans – dogs have teeth that can cause problems if they are not cared for with a proper dental routine. You may have already noticed, but dogs can suffer from bad breath just like humans can.
Dental problems in pets go way beyond bad breath. Periodontal disease is the most common health problem in dogs today. At least 80 percent of dogs suffer from it by age 2. Left untreated, dental problems can be very painful and affect the quality of a pet’s life.
8 Tips For Good Dog Oral Hygiene
Small-breed dogs under 20 pounds are at an even greater risk than larger breeds. First, small dogs have small mouths that crowd the teeth, and second, those teeth are excessively large for those small jaws.
Here are 8 tips for good pet oral hygiene:
Schedule teeth cleanings with the veterinarian.
Your vet is an important part of this Dog Oral Hygiene. Ask your vet to show you how to brush your pet’s teeth properly. Your vet knows how to brush their teeth properly so your beloved pet doesn’t get gum disease or any of the other conditions associated with poor oral hygiene.
It’s ideal to schedule yearly cleanings, but you might consider having an older pet’s teeth cleaned twice a year.
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Get the Right Toothbrush for your dog
You are going to need to spend some time finding the right toothbrush for your dog. You can use a child’s toothbrush – but it is recommended that you rather buy a special toothbrush for your pet. It will make brushing easier and will be worth the money.
To buy a toothbrush you can visit your vet or local pet supply store. You might be surprised to see how many variations of pet toothbrushes and toothpaste there are. Rather ask for help if you are not sure about what kind to get.
There are some rules for choosing the best brush for your dog. You need to make sure that the bristles are soft so they don’t damage the dog’s gums. You also need to make sure you choose the right sized brush (just make sure its’ not too big or too small for your dog’s mouth). Lastly, check that the handle is big enough for you to comfortably get a grip on the toothbrush.
Get the right dog toothpaste
You cannot use human toothpaste on your dog. Rather use a special high-quality toothpaste with ingredients specially formulated for dogs. You need to spend some time choosing your toothpaste too. Cheaper brands might use ingredients that are harmful to your pet, and there are some common ingredients that can make your pet sick.
Read the labels carefully and check that the toothpaste does not contain salt, detergents, or enzymes as these are dangerous for your pet. There is a huge choice at most pet supply stores so ask for help and read the labels carefully.
Work back to front
Brushing your dogs’ teeth for the first time can be difficult; especially if they are not used to it. This can be avoided by starting when they are puppies – but if it’s too late for that don’t worry. The key is to be gentle, speak in a soft voice, and do not force the dog. He must learn that it is not a big deal. Start from the back of the mouth and work your way forward in small circular motions.
Try a towel to brush your dog’s teeth
If your dog really does not want to allow you to brush his teeth without a fight you can use a towel first. Try rubbing his teeth so he gets used to the sensation as well as your fingers in his mouth. Speak encouragingly and softly; you can even sing a little tune to calm him down. After a few patient weeks, the dog should allow you to brush his teeth without any hassles.
How often do you brush your dog’s teeth?
You should be brushing your dogs’ teeth daily, but if you can’t manage that – once every second day should be fine. It’s important that you start to see your dog’s mouth as your own. By doing this you will ensure that your dogs’ teeth will last well into old age; and of course, his dog breath will improve.
Get your pet dental-friendly treats.
While your pet might not be able to take a toothbrush to their own teeth, they can chew on treats (and will enjoy doing it!). A number of pet treat brands sell dental chew treats. Rawhide bones will also have the same effect. Cheese is also known to help clean teeth, but be sure to check with your veterinarian before feeding any to Fluffy.
Chewing rawhide has been proven in clinical studies to help reduce plaque and tartar. Tasty beef and chicken flavors encourage your pooch to chew longer, increasing the dental benefits. Another option is Hartz Dental Nutri-Fresh Chew with OdorZap crystals to freshen breath, in addition to reducing tartar up to 61 percent.
Provide toys with dental benefits. Some newer chew toys have raised tips that help remove plaque and tartar. The Hartz Dental Chew ‘n Clean Deli Cuts are one example and come in three yummy flavors. These toys provide chewing exercises to strengthen gums and help relieve anxiety and boredom. Here is another gem we love from Petsafe: Busy Buddy Bristle Bone Chew Toy for Dogs. It is like 3 toys in 1 and Includes both rubber nubs and nylon bristles to help stimulate gums and keep teeth clean. It’s great for “super chewers” like my Tazuna.
To help keep this simple for you I have a FREE Printable: How to brush your pet’s teeth
Dog Oral hygiene plays a key role in your pet’s long-term health. If your pet suffers from gum disease, it can enter their bloodstream and cause a number of health problems, including organ failure. While it’s especially important to keep your older pet’s teeth clean, it’s best to form good oral hygiene habits when your pet is young.
Check out these other great tips for dogs:
- How to Spot a Fake Service Dog
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- 5 Summer Hazards – Keep Your Dog Safe from Injury This Season
- Travel With Your Dog: How to Take Your Pup on Summer Vacation
- The Ultimate Guide to the Best Emotional Support Dogs