Bad breath and tooth decay are a big concern for us humans, but we rarely give the subject much thought when it comes to our pets. The truth is, with all the little snacks and treats we give our pampered pals throughout the day, it’s essential that we look after their dental hygiene just as much as our own.
Reducing the chance of gum disease by brushing your pet’s teeth can lower the risk of more serious problems, including heart, liver and kidney damage. It’s recommended that you brush your pet’s teeth at least twice every week (although daily is always better) and, if you get the right equipment, it can quickly become part of your routine.
As a dog owner, one of the first things you’ll need to learn is how to brush your dog’s teeth. To begin with, you’ll need to purchase a soft-bristled toothbrush and some specialist dog toothpaste – these generally come in tasty, meaty flavours that should appeal to your pooch’s taste buds, making the task of brushing easier.
Aside from the taste factor, it’s essential that you use a specialist dog toothpaste for health reasons. Pets should not be exposed to human forms of toothpaste, as these can contain certain types of bleach, irritants and a chemical called fluoride, which, whilst good for you, can cause damage to your pet’s stomach.
To start off the brushing process, offer your dog a taste of the toothpaste, first running your finger along the gums of the upper teeth, and then repeating the process with the brush. Work in small circles along the gum line, from the back of the mouth to the front – the whole process should take under 30 seconds, and effectively prevent plaque from developing.
In addition to brushing, there are other smart approaches to cleaning your pet’s teeth, including products like dog teeth drops. Ideal for pets that are resistant to brushing (as well as for preventing build-up of plaque after brushing), dog teeth drops can be placed directly into your pet’s mouth, and will soften any built-up tartar, making it easy to remove.
Another great way to keep your pet’s teeth in good order is to invest in a teeth cleaning chew toy. These cute canine accessories can help to aid dental hygiene, and are also fun! For further information on using a teeth cleaning chew toy and other dental hygiene options, visit the Ten Steps to Your Dog’s Dental Health online guide.
By ensuring that your pet’s gnashers are kept in tip-top condition, you’ll be protecting them from oral disease, looking after their general health, and avoiding the perils of smelly breath!