You may not have realised it, but brushing your dog’s teeth is vital to its overall health. It prevents gum disease as well as keeps their breath smelling nice and fresh. Furthermore, tartar and plaque build ups can lead to teeth loss and a range of other dental problems that can become dangerous infections. Unfortunately, these infections have the potential to spread to different parts of your doggo’s body.
So, with all that doom and gloom out of the way, here is how to regularly brush your puppy’s teeth so that you don’t have to worry about any of these problems.
How regularly should you brush your dog’s teeth?
A dog’s teeth need consistent brushing, just as if they were your own. In a perfect world, you would brush your dog’s teeth daily. But we don’t all have the time for that, so combining two or three brushes a week with a yearly professional dental clean should prevent any nasty diseases from occurring. What’s more, choosing top pet insurance in Australia should be able to cover professional cleaning.
How to brush your dog’s teeth
It can be a little bit confusing if you are new to brushing your dog’s teeth. But the first thing you have to do is ensure they are properly introduced to the concept and comfortable with having their teeth brushed. Prepare your pooch for their first brush by following these simple steps:
- Buy a toothbrush that is specifically designed for doggos. A finger brush is the best place to start.
- Massage your dog’s teeth, gums and lips in steady, circular movements a few times a day. Start with your pooch’s lips, then onto its teeth and gums once your dog seems more comfortable with the lip massage. This step can take time as dogs can become easily confused by this new concept.
- Allow your doggo to taste a small amount of toothpaste. They may not be a big fan of it, and they won’t be sure why you’re trying to give them such minty gel, so it’s best to reward them with a treat once they have tasted it.
- Place a tiny amount of toothpaste onto the brush and allow your doggo to lick it. Reward them for licking the toothbrush and always allow time for the dog to become comfortable with the toothbrush before attempting to brush their teeth.
- Clean your dog’s teeth with small, circular movements. Reassure your doggy with calming words whilst cleaning their gums and the inside of their lips.
- Clean in short bursts, reassuring your doggy in between bursts. You only really need to brush for a total of a minute, and be sure to reward your doggo after the brushing!
The process can take time, as dogs can easily become confused by something they don’t understand as being good for them. As with anything a dog needs to learn, you as their owner have to be patient with them and ensure they are in a comfortable space to do so.
Your dog might hate the taste of toothpaste, in which case it might be a good idea to use an alternative. Two good alternatives are baking soda and coconut oil. Baking soda will freshen the breath, clean off plaque and tartar whilst killing unwanted bacteria. To make baking soda toothpaste, simply add some water to the soda and make a paste.
Coconut oil can also be mixed with baking soda to make a healthy paste. You can even drop a little peppermint oil into the mix to see if your pet likes that as opposed to the overwhelming flavour of store bought mint toothpaste.