Brushing your dog’s teeth at least twice a day, just as we do, is recommended. Many dogs will grow to expect and enjoy brushing if it becomes a part of their routine. Brushing three times a week is the bare minimum for removing plaque and preventing tartar build-up. It’s ideal to start teaching your puppy to accept teeth brushing when he’s still young. The training process may take a bit longer if your dog is older, but it is still worth the effort.
Periodontal disease, an inflammation or infection of the tissues around the teeth, affects more than 2/3rds dogs over the age of three. It begins with plaque-induced gingivitis and frequently proceeds to include the bony tooth sockets. Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss that is uncomfortable and painful.
1. Start With The Touch
It’s critical to teach your dog to accept inspection, brushing, and other mouth interventions to maintain proper dental hygiene before brushing your dog’s teeth. Begin in a comfortable and neutral section of the house. Make sure your dog is calm and comfortable before lightly and briefly touching its muzzle. Treat and reward them right away.
2. Move On To The Lips
Raise the dog’s upper lip. After your dog has grown accustomed to you touching their muzzle, try raising a lip for a few seconds. After you’ve released the lip, instantly reward and praise them to establish a strong link between food and your mouth manipulation.
3. Keep Increasing The Duration
Increase the amount of time you contact and hold onto your dog’s lip once they’ve accepted it on a regular basis. Examine their teeth while holding their lip up. Treat and praise as soon as you can after you’ve let go.
4. Replace Your Hand By The Brush
Place the brush on the table. Replace your hand or finger with a toothbrush and repeat steps 1-3. At first, your dog may be attracted by the brush. It’ll be crucial to just treat and praise them when they ignore the tool rather than chewing or licking it.
5. Let’s Start Brushing
It’s time to brush your dog’s teeth when they’ve become comfortable with the feel of the brush. Begin by brushing the teeth with the brush, then gradually increase to a moderate scrubbing motion. Your dog will be ready to show off those beautiful whites to the canine dentist before you know it.
Which brush should I use?
There are commercially available toothbrushes that are particularly developed for use in dogs;
- Brushes with angled handles,
- Brushes with multiple heads,
- Small brushes that fit easily in your hand,
- Finger toothbrushes
The toothbrush you use is determined in part by the size of your dog. Many pet parents prefer to brush their dog’s teeth using a finger brush, especially when they are just starting. If you’re not sure which brush to use, ask your veterinarian.
While cleaning your dog’s teeth is recommended, you may complement care with dental treats or chews for dogs, and dental wipes in between brushings. These treatments help in preventing plaque accumulation but aren’t enough to keep your dog’s mouth healthy on its own, so you’ll still need to brush your dog’s teeth regularly.