February is National Pet Dental Month. If you have been a little slack in making sure your dog’s teeth are in good health then now is the time to start. You should be brushing your dog’s teeth daily to help fight again periodontal diseases which can affect their gums and teeth, as well as their internal organs, like their kidney, liver, and heart. If you can’t work daily brushing into your routine, a few times a week is better than nothing. Usually, it is best to start this practice early in your pets life so that they get acquainted with it early. But don’t worry if you haven’t started yet, it’s never a bad time to start!
How To Brush Your Dogs Teeth:
It’s a good idea to slowly get your dog acclimated to having you touch their mouths. This is easiest by putting peanut butter or other favored creamy treat on your finger. Then you let them lick it off while exploring their gums and teeth. Do this for a few days before you try and actually brush their teeth.
Supplies & Process:
Make sure to get pet specific toothpaste to get started. Never use human toothpaste on your pet since it contains fluoride it is toxic to them. Then you need to get a toothbrush or a finger brush to clean the teeth. I personally like the finger brush because it’s less strange for your dog and you really get a good feel of their teeth, but either one works great.
Start slowly on the front teeth and then move to the back of their mouth. If they seem to be getting frustrated then stop and try again a little later for the rest of the teeth. It may take them a while to really get used to the process. You don’t want to overdo it and have them feel negative when you bring out the brush. Talk to them in a calm soothing voice. Give lots of pets and reassurance to make it a positive experience.
Clean Teeth with Chews:
It’s also a good idea to use dental chews and synthetic bone chew toys that are specially designed to strengthen your dog’s gums and teeth. While you still want to brush frequently, chews help decrease the accumulation of plaque while strengthening their teeth and jaws. Also, give them food like chewy kibble instead of soft foods that junk up the teeth.
Take a second to watch this video of Dr. Sheldon Rubin, speaking for the American Veterinary Medical Association giving us some easy, step-by-step instructions on how to teach a dog to accept a daily tooth brushing.
If you’re worried about your pets dental health talk to your vet. Some clinics offer discounts on dental procedures this month and you could get a great deal on anaesthesia cleaning.
Don’t forget to comment and let us know some of your tips and tricks for brushing your dog’s teeth!