Not only a person needs to cleanse the oral cavity from food debris. A similar problem is increasingly occurring in pets. And dogs are no exception to the list of animals that need regular dental and gum care.
That is why veterinarians strongly recommend that you closely monitor the condition of your teeth, carry out regular cleaning and visit a veterinary dentist at the first sign of tartar.
Why should a dog brush its teeth
Should I brush my pet’s teeth and why should I do it? The answer to this question is of interest to many owners. After all, most are sure that their parents have never cleaned the enamel of the teeth of their pedigree dogs, and even more so the mongrels who guarded the house.
And modern owners are sincerely perplexed: why now this procedure is so actively promoted by dog handlers and veterinarians?
What is it: a new way to make money from the naivete of the owner or a necessity that has arisen in the modern world?
Let’s take a closer look at this issue. There is a simple pattern that led to the need for such manipulation.
- Transfer of the dog to dry or canned food. They have a soft texture that adheres firmly to the enamel, lingers between adjacent teeth, or settles between the edge of the gum and enamel. The dog is not able to remove food debris on its own;
- Such food debris is an ideal breeding ground for the growth and reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms;
- As a result, the dog has a daily layering of food debris on top of each other, which becomes the key to the formation of tartar;
- And the presence of pathogenic bacteria contributes to the appearance of an unpleasant odor from the mouth and the development of inflammatory processes of the gums;
- Taken together, these factors lead to an intolerable “odor” from the dog’s mouth, and the risk of tooth loss significantly increases long before the physiological old age of the animal.
It is possible to avoid such a sad development of events with a timely and comprehensive approach to solving this problem. This is a regular brushing of your teeth, a visit to a specialist to examine the condition of the oral cavity.
For skeptical owners, we remind you: in nature, a dog behaves like a predator. Therefore, she regularly does not eat porridge, dry granules or canned food, but is forced to hunt and gnaw bones.
In fact, it is a mechanical cleaning of the enamel, which is analogous to the classical cleaning of teeth. And the amount of food (as well as the frequency of its intake) in stray dogs is such that the enzymes of saliva have time to dissolve the remains of food in the oral cavity.
You may be interested in our article: Tartar and Plaque in Dogs. Easier to prevent than to cure
How often should a dog brush his teeth?
Veterinarians remind that cleaning the tooth enamel in a four-legged pet should be carried out taking into account the type of nutrition, as well as the physiological characteristics of the dog.
The classic scheme is to carry out the procedure 1-2 times a week.
But if the dog has a tendency to develop inflammatory processes in the oral cavity, and plaque appears on the surface of the tooth after 1-2 days, then the frequency of treatments should be increased.
How to train your dog to brush its teeth
The best solution is a good habit learned in early childhood. Taking your baby into the house, try to immediately purchase a special toothbrush and gradually teach your pet to carry out this procedure.
There are several classic techniques that make the learning process easier:
- Start learning from a young age… The sooner the pet gets used to it and resigns itself, the easier it will be for the owner to clean the oral cavity of an adult. Cynologists recommend starting training a puppy as soon as he reaches the age of 8-9 weeks;
- Do not hurry… You should not try to manipulate with all the rules of veterinary art the first time. Of course, the dog will not like too much the presence of a foreign object in its mouth. And the owner can cause discomfort or pain without having the necessary experience. Let the first attempts to brush your teeth last only 30-40 seconds;
- Train your dogthat your fingers may be in its mouth for a while. To make this procedure less unpleasant, try dipping them in sour cream, fatty broth, or some other treat. And run your finger along the gums and teeth;
- Use the special attachment on your finger. It gives less discomfort and the learning process will be easier;
- Choose special pastes…
It is important: Be patient and don’t expect your dog to enjoy the procedure. At best, the dog will wait patiently for the owner to finish processing the mouth.
How to brush your dog’s teeth
Veterinarians remind that the use of toothpastes and products intended for humans is contraindicated.
Currently, on the shelves of pet stores, specialized departments of hypermarkets and veterinary pharmacies, an impressive range of products for the care of the oral cavity of pets is presented.
Each owner will be able to easily pick up the necessary items for regular hygiene procedures. These include:
Toothpastes. You cannot use your own product or products for children. Pastes containing fluoride have an adverse effect on tooth enamel. And products with mint impair the dog’s sense of smell.
The ideal solution would be to choose a specialized paste for animals. Many manufacturers aim to make it easier for the owner to brush their teeth, so they offer chicken or bacon flavored options.
For a dog, the use of such a paste is associated with pleasant taste sensations, due to which the dog will behave more calmly at the time of brushing;
Finger tips… They are similar in appearance to the attachments that parents use to clean their babies’ teeth. For a dog, the use of such a nozzle will be less traumatic and unpleasant;
Special brushes for cleaning tooth enamel. They can also be purchased at a vet pharmacy, pet store or hypermarket. A wide range and the ability to choose a model in the best price range allows each owner to find a suitable option.
Bandage. This is the simplest option and can be used in the absence of other alternatives. Not every adult dog will agree to the presence of a foreign object in the oral cavity. Especially if the owner has not previously accustomed him to this procedure. In this case, you can start training by wrapping your index finger with 3-4 layers of bandage and applying the required amount of paste to the surface.
It is important: After cleaning the enamel, many veterinarians recommend using mouthwash. They contribute to the elimination of pathogenic microflora and the health of the gums.
Prevention is also a good solution. It consists in the use of special formulations that include a mixture of enzymes. A small amount of liquid should be added to the dog’s drinking water. Once in the oral cavity, enzymes begin to destroy plaque and prevent the formation of tartar.
How to brush your teeth. Step-by-step instruction
In order for the procedure to be as comfortable as possible for the dog, the owner should adhere to a certain sequence:
- Take a walk or play with the dog. If the dog is tired of a long walk, then it will not actively resist unpleasant manipulations;
- Prepare the necessary tool (paste, toothbrush or finger tip);
Let your pet taste the pasta. So he will be able to get used to its aroma and will react more calmly to cleaning;
- An adult and a large animal can be planted or raised. And for representatives of miniature or medium breeds, placing it on a table or on an armchair would be a good solution. So the owner will be more comfortable with processing;
- It is worth bringing in a family member. His task will include praising the dog, as well as physical assistance if the dog starts to escape at the wrong moment;
- The enamel surface should be cleaned from the farthest teeth. Animals respond much worse to an attempt to lift the front lips in the nose area than to pulling the lips. Therefore, it is worthwhile to first carry out the processing of the back teeth, and then proceed to the more unpleasant part of the manipulation;
- A prerequisite is the processing of the outer surface of the tooth in the area of the lips and gums. It is there that the primary formation of tartar occurs;
- If the dog is not in the mood for manipulation and flatly refuses to open its mouth, then you should not insist. In this case, the optimal solution would be to postpone processing to another day.
It is important: after the four-legged pet has passed an unpleasant test with honor, the owner must definitely encourage him. It can be an exciting walk, an active game, or a tasty and healthy bone. It will be a finishing touch in the form of a gum massage, which improves the blood supply to the oral cavity.