Just how much time do you spend on making sure that your dog has clean teeth and gums? If you don’t really go out of your way to keep them clean, then chances are they are simply not really that clean. Did you know that you actually have to brush your dog’s teeth from time to time? That isn’t the only thing that you should do though. Here are a few other tips that will help you when it comes to learning how to clean dogs’ teeth.
7 Steps to make your dog’s teeth clean and shiny
#1 – Schedule a Trip to the Veterinarian
Since over half of the tooth is actually below the gums, it just makes sense that you would want your vet to check out your pet’s oral health. This is especially true if you have never been one to brush their teeth before. In fact, if you start out brushing their teeth and they already have some type of oral complication, it will be very painful for them. The vet will be able to do x-rays, and they will also be able to put your pet under some local anesthesia to thoroughly clean their teeth and gums. This is a great place to start, because it helps you get a healthy foundation to work with.
#2 – Focus on the Right Timing
When you are trying to brush your pet’s teeth, you need to make sure that you do it at the right time. You don’t want to do it when they are really active and playful, because this will just make it a whole lot of work for you. Most dogs won’t cooperate much when it comes to brushing and caring for their teeth, so if yours is, consider yourself one of the few lucky ones! Some of the best times to try to brush their teeth include right before they go to sleep, so that they are sleepy, or right before they eat, so that their meal is a reward for allowing you to successfully clean their teeth.
#3 – Look for Pet Friendly Toothpaste
Well, most people know that human toothpaste is not acceptable for dogs, but some don’t really know why. First of all, it isn’t likely that they will really like the taste of the toothpaste, but more importantly, human toothpastes contains much more fluoride than a dog requires, and it can actually be toxic for them. Many popular pet stores carry canine toothpaste in flavors that your pet is sure to enjoy, such as peanut butter, chicken or beef, or pet friendly mint! This will definitely help the process go smoother for you if they have something that they don’t mind tasting.
#4 – Use the Right Tools
Having the right type of toothbrush is really important when it comes to cleaning your pet’s teeth. You can’t just grab any toothbrush at your local supermarket, because it may be too harsh for their gums. It is best to use a finger brush, which can be obtained from your local pet supply store. This may be too much to start out with, especially if your pet isn’t used to it. Some people just put a small dab of the toothpaste on their finger to let their pet taste it first before they get started. You may need to ease them into it. Whatever you do, just make sure that you are using a brush that will have soft enough bristles to clean away the build up on their teeth without causing any abrasion.
#5 – Position Them Effectively
When you want to get started cleaning your pet’s teeth, you will want to first make sure that you position them effectively. If you don’t, they may start to try to get away and it could end up disastrous. It is best if you put them on your lap and start gently and slowly. Most people find that they don’t even have to look to get the job done right. In fact, you can usually just feel your way through it and still get an effective cleaning.
#6 – Use Tartar Control Bones
Did you know that there are treats and bones that are effective at breaking away the tartar build up on your pet’s teeth? You will want to look for products that contain the ingredient antimicrobial chlorhexidine. Many treats say that they offer tartar control, but it isn’t going to offer the level of clean that they need. You can’t use bones and treats as a sole method of cleaning your pup’s teeth, but you can use it as a supplement to keep you from having to brush as often. Don’t underestimate the importance of effective brushing.
#7 – Feed Dry Kibble
While canned foods and other wet foods may be tempting for your pet, dry kibble is always best for regular meals. The dry kibble is a great way to keep your dog’s teeth clean. If you do want to serve canned food or other wet foods, just make sure that you do it as a supplement so that they still get the benefits of the dry food for their teeth and gums.
Learning how to clean dogs’ teeth isn’t that difficult. You just have to know what you are doing. If you are new to cleaning your dog’s teeth, you may want to start out slowly and ease them into it. This will just make the whole process go a lot smoother for everyone involved. Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the importance of good oral health care for your dog.