You may have heard the saying, “a dog’s mouth is cleaner.” While that is not entirely true, dogs are not as prone to cavities as humans. However, dogs can still develop plaque buildup, which leads to tartar and gingivitis. Although these are concerning issues, they actually lead to serious health issues including heart, liver, and kidney disease. In order to prevent these life-threatening issues, bad breath, and yellow teeth, learn how to clean your dog’s teeth.
To properly brush your dog’s teeth, hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and gently scrub at the gum line and teeth. Use toothpaste specially formulated for dogs, which can be found at pet stores. Human toothpaste has many ingredients that are poisonous to pets; never use your own toothpaste.
Pets do not always love the experience, but if you are patient and read your dog’s signals you’ll be able to create a comfortable routine for both of you. The first few times you brush your dog’s teeth, you man not get to clean as thoroughly as you want – that’s okay! Starting slow and building up a tolerance to the brushing activity will ease your dog into it gently. Ensure that you’re speaking pleasantly to your dog and avoid yelling in frustration. The first times are admittedly tricky. You can reward your dog with a treat afterward to encourage better behavior.
If your dog hates this process, there’s still hope. You can make choices that help encourage better oral health for your pup. Crunchy kibble is better for your dog’s teeth than softer foods. The soft food sticks to teeth and leads to decay, while the kibble does not. In addition, you can try synthetic bones and chew toys that are formulated to clean teeth. Although these steps help, they are no replacement for brushing your pup’s teeth.
If your pup has chronic bad breath, yellow teeth, missing teeth or other dental problems, see your dentist for the best advice and treatment.