Humans place a lot of emphasis on having a pearly white smile. It’s no surprise then that we want our dogs to have beautiful white teeth, too! Not only should our dogs have clean white teeth throughout their lives, but it’s also important for our dogs to have good oral hygiene. It’s more than good for their appearance, it a matter of good health.
You can help your dog keep his teeth looking their best by investing in just a few products to clean his teeth. Your dog will need some doggy toothpaste. Look for peanut butter flavor or beef flavor made especially for dogs. Don’t use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. It contains artificial sweeteners that can be harmful to your dog. You should also purchase a doggy toothbrush. These brushes are angled to fit a dog’s mouth and jaws. Or, alternatively, you can use a rubber finger that fits over your own finger. This item has a little brush on the end so you can put toothpaste on it.
You can also use small cheesecloth pads that have been covered in baking soda to brush your dog’s teeth. These are effective but they don’t taste very good to your dog.
To brush your dog’s teeth you may need a friend to hold him the first time you attempt to brush. Or, if you have a grooming table, you can put your dog on the grooming table so he will stay in place. Put the toothpaste on the toothbrush or the rubber finger and start brushing your dog’s teeth. It’s fine to start with the front teeth and work to each side. Be sure to work to the molars in back. These teeth are prone to picking up tartar and may develop cavities.
There is no need to rinse your dog’s teeth. Most dogs like the taste of the doggy toothpaste and consider it a treat.
This is the basic routine for brushing your dog’s teeth. Your dog’s teeth should be brushed at least weekly. Veterinary dentists say that 70 percent of dogs have developed gum disease by the time they are 3 years old. Many dogs lose teeth and have dental problems in old age because their owners never brush their teeth.
If you find that your dog has developed some tartar you can also get a tooth scaler to remove some of the build-up. When you visit your vet each year you should ask him or her about your dog’s teeth. Have your vet check the teeth to see how they look. At some point in your dog’s life he may need to have his teeth professionally cleaned by your vet.
There are a number of products that may help keep your dog’s teeth whiter and cleaner. These products include dog foods, chews, dog biscuits and rawhides. Look for products that have the Veterinary Oral Health’s Council seal of acceptance.