Many of us consider our dog to be a beloved member of the family. Not only does this mean taking them to the dog park, buying them fancy treats and toys, and dressing them up in funny costumes, but it also means caring for their health. It’s important to take your furry friend to the vet regularly, feed them a healthy diet, and give them adequate exercise, in addition to caring for another aspect of their health: their teeth.
Just like with humans, preventive care is essential to maintain the health of your dog’s teeth. You should be brushing their teeth daily and also occasionally having their teeth professionally cleaned, based on your vet’s recommendation. Dr. Allen and our team have a few tips to make brushing your dog’s teeth be as “paw-sitive” as “paw-sible”.
Ideally, start brushing your dog’s teeth when they are a puppy. This way, they get used to the process early, making it easier on them and on you. However, older dogs can learn new tricks, too! Oral hygiene is necessary for dogs of all ages. For adult dogs that aren’t used to getting their mouths touched, be gentle and patient by gradually introducing your dog to their dental care tools.
In order to brush your dog’s teeth, you will need the right supplies. Pet stores carry doggie toothbrushes designed to fit their mouths, but you can also use a child-sized toothbrush or even a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. You’ll also need a pet-friendly enzymatic toothpaste. Pet stores sell specially-formulated doggie toothpaste in appetizing flavors like chicken liver – trust us, your canine pal will love it. Be sure to buy toothpaste that is made for dogs because human toothpaste and even baking soda is harmful to your dog!
After brushing your dog’s teeth, reward them with a treat or some playtime. This way, they can begin to look forward to brushing as they know they’ll get a reward afterward! Also consider supplementing your dog’s oral care routine with dental dog chew treats. This can be an easy way to freshen your dog’s breath and curb the growth of plaque between brushings, and your pup will love them!