4 Reasons to Brush Your Dog's Teeth and 6 Tips on How to do it
Did you know February is National Pet Dental Health Month? We know that cleaning your pup’s teeth isn’t always (or ever) fun, but it’s extremely beneficial to her health, not to mention her breath.
Here are a few reasons to brush those canines:
1. Retained baby teeth can cause problems in our pets, just like they can in humans. If you start brushing your dogs’ teeth when they’re puppies, you promote good oral care from the start and help their 42 adult teeth grow in when they should.
2. Dogs can get gingivitis just like we can, and in fact, many of them do. Early symptoms of gingivitis include reddened and swollen gums, drooling, and bad breath. Professional dental cleanings are usually required to treat it, which can cost thousands of dollars. Since gingivitis is preventable, it may not be covered under dental insurance plans.
3. Ignoring a dog’s dental health can lower her immunity. The bacteria in plaque does a lot of things, including causing the immune system to recognize it as foreign. Pets suffering from chronic illness may have their conditions worsened by lack of dental care.
4. Dogs who don’t get dental care almost always lose their teeth when they’re older, which can be terribly painful and cause serious health problems. Dogs are very good at hiding pain, so you may never even know your pup is suffering.
Convinced yet? National Pet Dental Health Month is meant to draw awareness to the issue, so don’t feel guilty if you’ve been slacking on the doggy dental care. It is estimated the only one perfect of dog owners brush their pups’ teeth, so if you start today, you’re way ahead of the curve.
Brushing once daily is ideal, especially if you haven’t brushed them before. But don’t worry if you miss a day… once your pup’s mouth is clean and healthy, even three days a week will make a huge difference.
Here are some simple steps for brushing your dog’s teeth:
1. Get a dog toothbrush and some doggy toothpaste. It really does make a difference.
2. Choose a time to brush when your dog is nice and relaxed. Eventually, brushing at the same time every day might help create a sense of routine.
3. Get your dog comfortable with having your hands in her mouth. This may take some time, so ease into it gently.
4. Let her lick some toothpaste off your finger, then show her the toothbrush.
5. Brush over a few easy to reach teeth.
6. Using a calm and soothing voice, talk to her while you try to brush the rest of her teeth. If she’s an older dog and this is a new experience for her, this will almost certainly take several days of trying. Be patient.