We wouldn’t dream of not brushing our own teeth so we should be regularly cleaning our dog’s teeth too! Dog owners frequently overlook dental care but cleaning their teeth and checking for signs of any diseases should be a regular component of their grooming routing; you should clean your dog’s teeth at least 4 times a week but ideally daily. Dental scale or tartar can build up on dogs’ teeth just as it does on our own teeth and this is why regular cleaning is vital to help minimise this accumulation.
Make teeth cleaning as pleasant as possible
Having their teeth brushed is not a painful experience for dogs but it can be unpleasant if it is not something they are used to. Making the process as straight forward and pleasant as possible means your dog will be more likely to co-operate with you and enable you to do this on a regular basis and even begin to expect it (choosing a similar time each day can help).
When cleaning your dogs teeth, ensure it is comfortable and relaxed and position yourself at their side to reassure them, or for small dogs you can even have them on your lap. Always be gentle and start with small brush movements and gradually increase the distance of the brushing motion as your dog becomes used to the sensation, continue for at least a minute until you feel all teeth have been sufficiently cleaned. Never use human toothpaste because it froths and dogs cannot spit so the accumulation of froth will distress them; there are a wide range of pet toothpastes suitable for dogs, flavours and also pet toothbrushes available so experiment with what is best for your dog. Once finished, reward their good behaviour and patience with treats, toys or a walk so they learn positive associations with teeth cleaning.
Checking for signs of dental problems
Make sure you also regularly check your dog’s mouth and teeth for any indications of problems as detecting symptoms early can prevent more serious dental issues. Things to look out for include pawing at the muzzle, reluctance to eat, bad breath, excessive saliva, inflamed or bleeding gums, tartar build up or loose teeth. If you do notice anything unusual and are worried then contact your vet and be sure to mention symptoms at any regular examinations.
Add a toy to their dental routine
Alongside brushing, some dog chew toys and treats can help to maintain their teeth as they are designed to reduce tartar build up and massage the gums. Our Busy Buddy Bristle Bone is great for looking after your dog’s teeth while providing them with entertainment too. The durable nylon bristles and rubber nubs provide dogs with a stimulating chewing surface, plus there is a refillable treat ring to encourage longer playtime. Fun and healthy – that’s a win all round!