Last Updated on October 8, 2021 by Pets Feed
Not only does a person have to clean their mouth from food debris. A similar problem is increasingly occurring in pets, and dogs are no exception to the list of animals needing regular care for their teeth and gums.
This is why veterinarians strongly recommend that you carefully monitor the condition of the teeth, perform regular brushing and, at the first signs of tartar, consult a veterinarian.
Why should a dog brush their teeth?
Is it worth brushing your teeth and why do it? The answer to this question interests many homeowners. After all, most are sure their parents never cleaned their tooth enamel in front of their purebred dogs, let alone the pooches who guard the house.
And modern owners are sincerely puzzled: why is this procedure so actively promoted by dog handlers and veterinarians?
What is it: a new way to make money from the naivety of the owner or a need that has arisen in the modern world?
Let’s take a closer look at this problem. There is a simple scheme that led to the need for such manipulation.
Transfer the dog to dry or canned food. They have a soft texture, which is firmly attached to the enamel, lingers between adjacent teeth or settles between the edge of the gum and the enamel. The dog is not able to remove food scraps on his own;
This food debris is an ideal breeding ground for the growth and reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms;
As a result, the dog daily superimposes food debris on top of each other, which becomes the key to tartar formation;
And the presence of pathogenic bacteria contributes to the appearance of an unpleasant odor from the mouth and the development of inflammatory processes in the gums;
Together, these factors lead to an intolerable “aroma” of the dog’s mouth, and the risk of tooth loss increases dramatically long before the animal’s physiological age.
Such a sad development of events can be avoided with a timely and comprehensive approach to solving this problem. This is regular brushing of teeth, a visit to a specialist to examine the condition of the oral cavity.
For skeptical owners, we remind you: in nature, the dog behaves like a predator. Therefore, he is not regularly given porridge, dry granules or canned food, but he is forced to hunt and chew on bones.
In fact, it is a mechanical cleaning of enamel, which is an analogue of classic tooth brushing. Yes, and the amount of food (as well as the frequency of its consumption) in stray dogs is such that the enzymes in the saliva are able to dissolve the leftover food in the oral cavity.
How often should you brush your dog’s teeth
Veterinarians remind that cleaning the enamel of a four-legged animal should be carried out taking into account the type of nutrition, as well as the physiological characteristics of the dog.
The classic scheme recognized the procedure 1-2 times a week.
But if the dog has a tendency to the appearance of inflammatory processes in the oral cavity, and the plaque on the surface of the tooth appears after 1-2 days, the frequency of treatments should be increased.
How to teach a dog to brush his teeth
The best solution would be a good habit instilled in early childhood. After bringing the baby home, try to immediately get a special toothbrush and gradually accustom the animal to this procedure.
There are several classic tips that make learning easier:
- Start learning from an early age. The sooner the animal gets used to and reconciles, the easier it will be for the owner to clean an adult’s mouth. Dog handlers recommend starting puppy training as soon as they are 8-9 weeks old;
- Take your time. Do not try to manipulate all the rules of veterinary practice the first time. Of course, the dog will not like the presence of a foreign object in its mouth too much. And the owner can cause discomfort or pain, without having the necessary experience. Allow the first attempts at brushing your teeth to last only 30 to 40 seconds;
- Teach the dog that for a while your fingers can be in his mouth. To make this procedure less unpleasant, try dipping them in sour cream, fatty broth or other treats. And move your finger along the gums and teeth;
- Use a special fingertip. It provides less discomfort and the learning process will be easier;
How to brush a dog’s teeth
Veterinarians point out that it is contraindicated to use toothpastes and products intended for humans.
Currently, an impressive assortment of products for the care of the oral cavity of pets is presented on the shelves of pet stores, specialized departments of hypermarkets and veterinary pharmacies.
Each owner will be able to easily select the items needed for regular hygiene procedures. These include:
Toothpastes. Do not use your own product or children’s products. Pastes, which contain fluoride, damage tooth enamel. Mint products make a dog’s smell worse.
The ideal solution is to choose a specialized paste for animals. Many manufacturers go to great lengths to make it easier for the owner to brush teeth, so they offer options that taste like chicken or bacon.
For a dog, the use of such a paste is associated with a pleasant taste, due to which the dog will behave more calmly at the time of cleaning;
Nozzles on the finger. They are similar in appearance to the nozzles that parents use to clean their teeth in babies. 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 veterinarian, pet store, or hypermarket. A wide range and the possibility of choosing a model in the optimum price category allows every owner to find the right option.
Bandage. This is the simplest option which can be used in the absence of other alternatives. Not all adult dogs will accept the presence of a foreign body in the oral cavity. Especially if the owner had not yet accustomed him to this procedure. In this case, you can start to learn by wrapping your index finger with 3-4 layers of a bandage and applying the required amount of paste to the surface.
How to brush your teeth. Step by step instruction
To make the procedure as comfortable as possible for the dog, the owner must adhere to a certain sequence:
- Take a walk or play with the dog. If the dog is tired of a long walk, he will not also actively resist unpleasant handling;
- Prepare the necessary tool (toothpaste, toothbrush or finger nozzle);
- Give the animal a taste of the dough. He will therefore be able to get used to its aroma and will respond more calmly to cleaning;
- Adult and large animals can be planted or planted. And for representatives of miniature or medium breeds, a good solution is to place them on a table or on an armchair. This will make the owner more comfortable with the treatment;
- It is worth attracting one of the family members. His task will include praise for the dog, as well as physical assistance if the dog begins to break out at the wrong time;
- The enamel surface should be cleaned from the most distant teeth. Animals respond much worse to trying to lift their lips forward into the nose than to pulling the lips. Therefore, it is first necessary to treat the posterior teeth, and then to carry out the most unpleasant part of the manipulation;
- A prerequisite is the treatment of the outer surface of the tooth at the level of the lips and gums. This is where the primary formation of tartar occurs;
If the dog is not ready for manipulation and categorically refuses to open his mouth, then you should not insist. In this case, the optimal solution would be to transfer the treatment to another day.