Why You Should Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
It never occurs to most dog owners that their dog’s need to have their teeth brushed. In fact, most of them will only look at brushing their pet’s teeth once their breath gets too stinky — or the veterinarian suggests it.
Brushing your dog’s teeth helps ensure healthy teeth and gums, but, more importantly, it helps to improve their overall health.
Just as with humans, good oral hygiene helps prevent tooth decay. This, in turn means that in your pet’s later years it will be still able to eat, and can greatly prolong their quality of life.
Furthermore, preventing tartar build up means preventing inflamed gums and gum disease. This also means preventing bacterial infections that can spread directly into the bloodstream.
The bottom line is that taking time to brush your dog’s teeth, improves their health, prolongs their life and gives them a happier smile and better breath.
How To Pick The Best Toothpaste For Your Pooch
Flavor is going to play a big role. Some of the dog dental paste is broth flavored. Others are salty. The key thing is that your dog needs to like it.
Once you pick out a toothpaste, you will want to introduce your pet to it. Getting them to lick it and become accepting of it is the first step to consistently brushing your dog’s teeth.
How Often Should I Brush My Dog’s Teeth
Ideally, you should be brushing them at least once a day. However, for most of us that is a little too optimistic.
Even if you are only brushing their teeth once or twice a week, you are providing better care than the dog owner that that doesn’t brush their dog’s teeth at all.
The key thing is to keep it fun. You don’t want to hold your pet down or force them to have their teeth brushed. Over time, they will become used to getting their teeth brushed and will become more compliant.
The Easiest Toothpaste For A Dog With Bad Breath
If bad breath is a major issue, I recommend seriously looking at the Orapup tongue brush.
The tongue brush was initially invented for humans, and has a huge following of people who want an easy way to brush their tongue and eliminate the bad breath.
Well, it works for dogs, too, and quite stellarly, I must say. In addition to eliminating bad breath it also helps cut down on bacteria.
What I love about this system is that it “tricks” your pet into brushing its own tongue. Just watch the video below. I think you will be as amazed as I was by this system.
Best Toothpaste For Fighting Tartar
Tartar buildup is the primary reason for brushing your dog’s teeth. By preventing tartar build up, you can prevent the gum damage that the tartar buildup will eventually cause.
Gum damage can even progress to the jaw (or periodontal damage), causing the teeth to come loose, and in worse case scenarios, come out.
Not to mention poor oral care can lead to mouth discomfort and make eating difficult.
To this end, my favorite toothbrush is the Petrodex enzymatic toothpaste kit. It comes with a specially curved doggie brush to make it easy to brush their teeth.
The best thing is that the toothpaste is enzymatic. Basically, it uses enzymes to create a surface that helps break down plaque and works throughout the day after you brush their teeth. I like this because I have a hard time getting my pets to hold still for their brushing. So I can at least be optimistic that the enzymes will keep working even after I’m done actively scrubbing.
On top of that, the toothpaste has no foaming agents in it, so it is perfectly safe for the dog to swallow.
My #1 Dog Toothpaste Pick
The CET brand of toothpaste is another top-notch choice. CET is a well-accepted brand in the pet industry and is the first pick for most pet owners.
What sets this toothpaste apart is that it actually includes more enzymes in the formula than the other brands. This provides deeper cleaning and anti-bacterial action which helps both with bad breath and plaque removal. It seems to be one of the most efficient cleaners on the market… which is probably why it goes out of stock so much.
Plus, the dogs seem to love the poultry flavor making them look forward to tooth-brushing time.
I certainly like the brand, and can see why it is typically in the top 5 bestseller list of dog toothpaste sold on Amazon.
What’s the Best Way to Clean a Dog’s Teeth?
Brushing your teeth is a habit you are taught from a very early age, right? Its common sense, you brush your teeth or you end up losing them! This is no different for your dog than it is for you, did you know that?
It is very important that you making getting your pet’s teeth clean one of your top pet care priorities. While decay may only be a small problem to start it can lead to much worse problems. Prevention is always better than intervention, right?
There is a lot of debate on what is best for your pet’s oral health, but in the end, what it really comes down to is making sure they’re healthy!
Dental Chew or Tooth Brush: Which is More Effective?
The big debate is whether or not it a dental chew is just as (or more) effective than a good tooth brushing. Overall, nothing is going to beat a professional cleaning done by your veterinarian.
While taking the time to care for your dog’s teeth yourself is extremely important, there are always going to spot you just can’t get to. Your dog should get a professional dental cleaning at least once a year (just like we should).
On the other hand, just because you get your dog’s teeth cleaned once a year does not excuse lack of dental hygiene the rest of the year! When it comes down to it, brushing your dog’s teeth are starting to look old fashion but it is still highly effective.
At the same time, however, dental chew products have come a long way and make a significant impact on your dog’s overall oral health.
Depending on the chew – and how well you are able to brush your dog’s teeth yourself, the results will vary. If your dog is patient enough to let you brush all his teeth the way they need to then go for it!
If this is going to be a chore that puts stress on both your dog and you and no amount of “getting him used to it” seems to be working, I would definitely take the dental chew route instead! Some preventative measure is better than none at all!
C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews
These are one of the highest rated dental chews available on Amazon. They are clinically proven to reduce plaque, tartar, and calculus on your pet’s teeth and they are recommended by many different vets.
If you are looking for a yummy flavored chew that your dog will love – that actually does the trick keeping their teeth clean – then this is it.
One reviewer even said that their dog is “right-handed” as in only chews with the right side. She reported a significant difference in the teeth on the right side where her dog gnaws on these chews compared to the left side. I think that’s saying something!
These chews are made from beefhide and dogs seem to just love them! They look at it just like having another rawhide bone – except these ones are specifically made to clean their teeth! This is a bonus for you, your dog won’t benefit from it if he won’t chew it!
Some people reported that their small dogs ate up the “small dog” version of the chews to quickly, though they had a great solution. They just bought a bag that was meant for bigger dogs and cut the treats in half.
Since the treats for the bigger dogs are thicker, it takes longer for the smaller pups to gobble through them. You could also take advantage of this method if you have dogs of multiple sizes that you plan to give these chews to.
While this will not replace a full dental scaling (which may be needed in dogs with an advanced periodontal disease) it will definitely do the trick between visits to the vet!
How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
The technique is just as important as the decision to brush your dog’s teeth at all! It will likely be a slow process – especially if you are working with a fully grown dog rather than a puppy. The younger your dog is when you start this routine the easier it will be!
You should be sure to buy a proper dog safe toothpaste, which can be found at most pet stores. You can either buy a special pet toothbrush, a “finger-brush”, use a human toothbrush or your fingers – whatever works best for you and your dog.
A toothbrush of some sort will likely be more effective than your fingers, but if your dog will allow your finger and not the toothbrush then remember, it’s still better than nothing!
Introduce your dog to the toothpaste by letting him taste it first. If he will happily lick it off your finger then start by using your finger to massage the toothpaste into the dog’s gums. This is a great start and from here you can work up to using the brush!
If you don’t want to do this yourself, but don’t want to pay for the professional cleaning at your vet’s office (which generally includes anesthesia, allowing the vet to do a deep cleaning under the gums), then there is another option!
Some pet stores hold vet clinics and some of those clinics include a “non-anesthetic” professional brushing. This works great for calmer dogs – however, it may not be good for more aggressive breeds.
No matter what approach you take to keeping your pet in good oral health, and prevention is important!
If your dog is already showing signs of periodontal disease (bad breath, discolored teeth, lack of appetite or lack of interest in previously coveted chew toys), then you should get to a vet right away! Your dog’s poor teeth could lead to much more dangerous illnesses if left untreated!
A first step is what’s most important in starting an oral care routine for your pup. Whether you go out and buy a brush or a dental chew is up to you – as long as you are doing what you need to in order to keep your dog happy and healthy!