Being a dog parent comes with a list of responsibilities and dog teeth cleaning is among these responsibilities. As a part of the hygiene routine, teeth hygiene is probably one of the most difficult responsibilities. Nevertheless, it is important to integrate tooth care within a cleaning routine for your dog.
How to go about it and what to use are some of the things to consider when you need to start caring for your dog’s teeth. Issues with tooth health can affect other aspects of a dog’s health and preventative care will help a lot.
Dog teeth cleaning – why is it important?
Many issues can come from poor dental health and dogs are not immune to this. Periodontal disease is one such issue also known as gum disease and it’s caused because of the build-up of plaque. It hardens and causes inflammation and of course pain.
Because of this pain, your dog can have difficulty eating and getting the necessary nutrients. Weight loss, bad breath and even tooth decay that can end in tooth loss are other issues that can appear.
How to start caring for dog teeth?
It probably sounds quite difficult to even begin caring for your dog’s teeth, and it most likely will be difficult. The motivation for this is that it can be worse if left uncared for. So there are a few things that can at least get you started.
Start young and small
A puppy will have its own tooth problem with teething and pain that is in some ways separate. It might not seem like the time to start brushing your dog’s teeth just now, but this is really a great opportunity. You can treat your dog’s tooth pain with chew toys or even a soothing gel. This trains your pup to have their gums and teeth touched, which can translate into brushing.
Of course, once their teeth start falling out you also have to check their teeth regularly. This is again another opportunity to train your dog to stay calm while you care for their teeth.
Don’t overwhelm your dog
It can be harder for some dogs more so than others to stay calm and have you fumble around in their mouth. Try to keep training sessions small and short in the beginning, and that includes sensitivity training to having their teeth touched. Start with something simple like lifting their lip or touching their nose, and gradually go from there.
Get them accustomed to having their teeth, lips, and gums touched and you already did the hard part. Make it fun for your dog, with treats, cuddles, and playtime, so that they see this as a fun game.
Start using a toothbrush
When you know your dog has gotten used to and is comfortable with having their teeth touched, you can level up to a toothbrush. You will of course need to get a toothbrush specifically designed for dogs. There are some very useful ones made from silicone that you use with your finger.
Some other brushes look very similar to the ones that we use but are made for larger dogs. Finding the best brush for your dog will depend on your dog, their breed and what they find comfortable.
At first, you can just use the toothbrush with water before you decide on which toothpaste to use. Start using this toothbrush at a 45 angle and try to brush the teeth on the outside and reach the gum line. Use up and down movements gently but with some pressure to it as well.
Deciding on a toothpaste
You will have to eventually pick a toothpaste. For this, you might need to try a few out before you find the right one. A few factors can contribute to what specific dog toothpaste you choose. Your dog might not like the texture, flavour or it can even affect your dog’s stomach.
Usually most dogs like toothpaste that have natural tastes such as bacon or chicken. Minty flavours are not a favourite to many dogs but they could be for some, so it’s important to try them as well.
This entire process is will be a long one and you will need bucketloads of patience. Persevere and be consistent and in time your pup will get used to having their teeth brushed. Probably the most difficult part of all this is to keep up the routine.
Time and perseverance are the two ingredients that will help train your dog to have its teeth cleaned. In the long run, this is something that will prove healthy for them as you can more easily clean their teeth.
Dog teeth cleaning without a toothbrush
There are situations when a dog really refuses to let anyone near their teeth, so what is there to do about it? You still need to care for your dog’s teeth but you’ll have to do it indirectly. To do this you can use dental sticks that can be made into treats.
There is also a powdered product that you coat on top of their regular food and it cleans their teeth. Depending on what solution works best you will need to take a more complicated route to gove your popper tooth care. Look into one of these solutions or a combination of a few.
Caring for dog teeth is hard and you do need to invest in patience and consistency. Having a schedule will help with dog teeth cleaning and combining a few solutions can make it easier. You have the hardest option which is brushing their teeth, but it offers the best results. There are other complementary solutions that will make it easier, but also help a dog that hates getting its teeth brushed.