For many people, their dogs are like their kids, so they do everything they can to ensure that their loyal companions are healthy and clean. Maybe you are the same way, and just as you wouldn’t neglect your human children’s teeth, you shouldn’t neglect your dog’s. To prevent cosmetic issues as well as health-related oral issues, like periodontal disease, you need to clean your dog’s teeth regularly. Taking your pet to an annual or biannual dog teeth cleaning can do wonders, but it won’t be effective unless you are helping your dog have good oral hygiene at home. Brushing their teeth 2-3 times a week should be enough, although every day would be even better.
We know that many dogs do not take kindly to their owners sticking a toothbrush in their mouths, so we have a few tips to help you with at-home dog teeth cleaning:
- Use a finger toothbrush. If your dog is new to having their teeth brushed, they may not appreciate it when you put a long toothbrush in their mouth. Instead, you can try using a special toothbrush that you slip over your finger and then use to scrub the plaque off your dog’s teeth. A finger toothbrush will usually make them feel more comfortable. Regardless of what type of brush you use, make sure you use a dog toothbrush and not a human one. Dog toothbrushes have softer bristles, and they are specially angled.
- Buy a tasty dog toothpaste. Always use a toothpaste that is specially formulated for dogs since human toothpaste has toxic ingredients like xylitol. With a tasty toothpaste flavor like peanut butter or chicken, your dog may be more cooperative when you brush their teeth.
- Use dental powder, chews, or treats. If dog teeth cleaning with a toothbrush seems near impossible, you may need to find another way to fight the plaque and dog breath. Adding dental powder to your pet’s food can provide probiotics that help clean their teeth, and dental chews and treats can physically scrape off plaque.