Maybe it’s never occurred to you to brush your dog’s teeth, or maybe you’ve tried it, but your dog hates the toothbrush. Is it really that important to brush your dog’s teeth? What happens if you do nothing about your puppy’s dental health? You may have many questions about dog dental health, and we strive to give you answers. Here are the answers to the seven most important questions about how and why to care for your dog’s teeth.
#1 – Why should I brush my dog’s teeth?
85% of dogs have signs of periodontal problems (gums and teeth) by the time they 4 years old, and many show signs by the time they’re just 2! Failing to properly care for your dog’s teeth and gums can cause a wide range of problems beyond just a buildup of plaque and tartar. Dogs can suffer from cracked or loose teeth, abscesses and infections. A severely infected tooth or an abscess can lead to a broken jaw. An infection of the gums can even enter the bloodstream and cause problems with your dog’s organs and lead to premature death! Brushing your dog’s teeth helps prevent a whole host of health problems.
#2 – How Often Should I Brush My Dog’s Teeth?
More is better. For optimal oral health, you should aim to brush your dog’s teeth at least once a day.
#3 – How do I brush my dog’s teeth?
To start with, always use a toothpaste specifically intended for dogs. Human toothpaste can be toxic to dogs, especially because they cannot spit out the toothpaste. If you’ve never brushed your dog’s teeth before, you can start by putting some toothpaste on your finger and letting him lick it. Once he’s familiar with the taste, get him used to touching his face. Practice lifting his lips to get him used to the feeling before putting anything in his mouth. You can then apply toothpaste to your finger and rub it over your dog’s teeth. Once it gets used to your finger, you can switch to a finger brush.
#4 – What are signs that my dog has an oral or dental problem?
The first thing you notice in your dog may be bad breath. Other signs of oral or dental problems include excessive drooling, clawing in the mouth, inflamed gums and refusal to eat. If you can look at your dog’s back teeth, an excessive amount of brown on his teeth means he has a lot of plaque and tartar that needs to be scraped off while your dog is under anesthesia. Although anesthesia-free dental offices have become all the rage lately, the technicians cannot clean below your dog’s gum line, meaning they only address the problem you can see. Leaving plaque, tartar, and bacteria under the gums will still lead to systemic health problems.
#5 – What dental and oral problems can my dog develop if I don’t brush his teeth?
Failure to brush your dog’s teeth can lead to tooth loss, gum disease, a broken jaw and even organ failure.
#6 – How often should I have the vet check my dog’s teeth?
A younger dog should have his teeth checked by a veterinarian at least once a year. Once your dog reaches middle age, the vet should look at his teeth twice a year to detect dental problems before they become even bigger problems.
#7 – What if my dog hates the toothbrush?
While brushing your dog’s teeth is the best thing to do, there are things you can do to care for your dog’s teeth if he really hates the toothbrush. If your dog likes to chew, there are plenty of toys that will help promote good dental health for your dog. If your dog doesn’t like chew toys, you can try a dental spray or rinse.
For a great way to treat your dog while caring for his teeth and also helping to feed shelter dogs, check out our Happy, Healthy Triple Enzyme Dental Sticks. These low-calorie, grain-free treats are specially designed to control plaque, reduce tartar buildup, freshen breath and help maintain healthy teeth and gums. These treats contain no artificial colors and each purchase provides 7 meals for shelter dogs!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare provider.