Dog teeth cleaning

smileThere’s a popular belief that a dog’s mouth is much cleaner than a human’s and many dog owners forget the importance of dog dental hygiene. A dog’s mouth is actually quite dirty. Just think about all the places and the things your dog likes to lick, chew or attempt to eat. This can range from anything to trash, dirt, cat poop and other dog’s body parts so brushing your dog’s teeth is just as important as taking care of your own teeth. In addition to bad breath, there are many consequences for not practicing proper dental hygiene for your pet. 85% of pets are affected by periodontal disease by the time they are three years old and depending on the severity of the disease, it can cause problems for your dog’s mouth the rest of his life.

Tartar and plaque builds up on dog teeth just as much as they do on human teeth if it is not removed and over time, the accumulated build up of bacteria on the tooth will damage the enamel and infect the bone and root. Yellowing of the teeth worsens and decay sets in. Furthermore, if no action is taken, the dead tooth will eventually fall out and the bacteria can infect other parts of the body: heart, liver, kidneys and infect the organs as well. This makes dental health in our dogs very important to ensure their quality of life and health stays strong.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is not as difficult as it sounds if you start early and keep a schedule. The key is to start early, ideally when your dog is a puppy but it is never too late to start brushing. Once you begin this practice with your puppy, he will get used to it over time and not run away or struggle when you attempt to brush him.

Many pet stores sell dental supplies and the toothbrush does not need to be fancy or electronic. There are toothbrushes made with certain angles to make the brushing easier but the toothpaste cannot be human toothpaste. This is very important! You must buy toothpaste specifically for canines as human toothpaste has fluoride which is not safe for dogs and there are different flavors to make brushing more attractive to your dog. My dog personally loves the beef flavor; I think half the time she thinks brushing her teeth is more like feeding her a snack.


I recommend brushing your dog’s teeth when he is tired. A tired dog won’t have much energy to resist and he’ll be easier to handle to sit still. The first time might take a few attempts but start slow. Don’t force the toothbrush down his throat and if he does resist, give him a couple seconds and try again. If he becomes too frustrated, stop and try again tomorrow. Even if you brushed just a couple teeth, that’s still a couple teeth cleaner and you can increase the time the next try. Increase time and amount of teeth in increments to let your dog get used to and adapt to having his teeth brushed. Make sure to be supportive and calm during the procedure and reward him when he’s finished so eventually he’ll be calm having his teeth brushed.

In addition to brushing, there are also chew toys and biscuits that promote strong teeth. Mouth rinses help clear up some bacteria when mixed in with drinking water. You can ask your veterinarian for brand and product suggestions to see which the best for your pet are. Take note that these should not be a substitute for brushing, use then more of a complement.

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There are so many advantages to brushing your dog’s teeth that people are unaware of. First, if the teeth are too dirty or decayed, you will have to take him to the vet’s office to get them cleaned or removed. This costs quite a bit of money and there is also the risk of anesthesia as dogs go under for teeth cleaning. Second, brushing keeps teeth and gums strong, preventing periodontal disease later in life. Small breed dogs are more prone to periodontal disease and can be greatly affected once they reach their senior stage of life. Third, that yucky dog breath that emanates from his mouth? Gone! It’ll be much more pleasant to receive hugs and kisses from your furry friend. If these reasons don’t entice you to start practicing proper dental hygiene with your pet, then remember that you want the best for his life, which comes from having good health and good health starts with good teeth.