How and Why to Brush Your Dogs Teeth Eliminating Doggy Breath
Dogs need their teeth brushed, too. An astounding 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3. Prevention is only a tooth brush away.
Brushing is for dogs, too. Does your dog have doggy breath? Bad breath, plaque and cavities can be prevented with a little brushing.
It is great to feed your dog dry dog food and chew toys, which help to keep plaque down. There are also dog biscuits made just for tartar control. With all of these options you may think that your dog does not need his teeth brushed, but brushing it is still important.
Brushing your dog's teeth will also add to his life. The plaque on the teeth if left alone can grow bacteria. This can enter the blood stream between the teeth and gums. This will add to the stress on the dog's organs and shorten his life span. Reading the information found on the site mentioned above really puts brushing into perspective. It is such a simple practice that will benefit you and your dog.
What kind of tooth brush?
You can prevent your dog from having oral disease by taking a few minutes twice a week to brush his teeth. To start you need the right equipment. Dog tooth brush, tooth paste and a little patience. A treat for doing so well would also help. There are a couple of types of tooth brushes. Look at your local pet store. Some look very similar to your tooth brush and others slip onto the end of your finger. You can also use a wash cloth to start off. I like the long handled tooth brush especially for a first time brushing. These seem to be able to reach more teeth with less slobber on me.
Human tooth paste?
No, human tooth paste could cause an upset stomach in your dog. The tooth paste is as important as the brush. Finding a tooth paste made just for dogs is the best solution. There are quite a few out there. There are even different flavors. I have seen fish, beef, and chicken flavor. It is a great idea to use one of these, because it is like giving your dog a treat. If he likes the tooth paste then you will have an easier time brushing in the future.
How do I get started?
Start off by sitting next to your dog. Position yourself so that you can easily reach his teeth. It would be best if he is calm. Pet his head and at the same time gently message the outside of his muzzle. Use a circular motion just like you will with his tooth brush except on the outside of his mouth. This step is important to get your dog use to the idea of his cheeks being rubbed. After he is use to this motion you can wait for another calm time and sit next to him starting again petting his head then his muzzle. After a moment tell your dog that you are going to brush his teeth. Simply use your finger to rub his teeth and gums. Depending on your dog you may want to take this slowly. Merely introducing the idea of something rubbing his teeth may be a lot for one secession. Take your time. When he is ready put a dab of tooth paste on your finger. You will not need much. Now message the outside of his teeth where the gums and teeth meet. This is the most important area to focus on.
Introducing the toothbrush.
Introduce the tooth brush by showing it to him. Then allow him to lick and smell it while you hold the handle. Play with your dog a little. Be sure to keep him calm and relaxed. Make brushing fun. Let him feel the bristles in his mouth on his teeth and gums. But, prevent biting by keeping the brush moving. When he is ready put a small dab of pet tooth paste on the brush. Brush his front teeth. Use circular or up and down motions. If he takes that well then continue to the back. If not then pet or play with him. Always stop at a point that he is joyful.
Make an appointment?
Make an appointment 2 or 3 times a week to brush your dog's teeth. It does not take long just a few minutes adds years to your dog's life. Making it an appointment will make it more important to you. Remember the back teeth. They are the most important and most likely to have plaque. No more doggie breath.