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How to Brush Dog's Teeth

 Submitted by Michael Adams on December 2, 2009

Dog Dental Hygiene:

Although not many dog owners are aware of this fact, dental disease is among the most common dog illnesses. Build up of plaque and tartar on a dog’s teeth can cause a variety of problems, and gum disease is also quite common. Very often, a dog with foul breath does not simply have “doggy breath” but is suffering from some disease of the teeth or gums.

The problem is usually not particularly severe, but in some cases, certain dental problems could become serious. In any case, dental disease is easily preventable and treatable, so there is no reason for any dog to suffer even mild discomfort due to this problem.

A combination of dry, crunchy food and chewy treats and toys helps greatly in keeping a dog’s teeth healthy.

However, in addition, it is also important to brush dog’s teeth regularly. Daily brushing is unnecessary, but most veterinarians would recommend brushing your dog’s teeth around twice a week. Of course, the question of how to brush your dog’s teeth still remains. First of all, you need to get your dog accustomed to his or her mouth and teeth being touched. Such behavior is not natural, and it may take time for your dog to submit. The best time to practice is after a long walk or a strenuous game, when your dog is tired and less likely to protest. Begin with short sessions – even a few seconds will do – and end each session with a tasty treat, so your dog sees these sessions as something positive. Slowly, you can increase the length of these sessions so that they’re long enough for a good tooth rub and gum massage.

Now you’re ready to move to the next step – getting your dog used to the brush and toothpaste. Two things you should remember here: firstly, never use human toothpaste or even baking powder, as these products are harmful for dogs, and secondly, while a human toothbrush is not harmful for your dog, it will not work as well as a special finger toothbrush meant for dogs. To use the paste and brush, first get your dog used to the toothpaste without any brushing. Apply the toothpaste on the dog’s teeth, and let your dog lick it up. After a few days, you can begin brushing too, but once again only for short durations. Gradually, increase the time you spend brushing till it is sufficient, and remember to always give your dog a treat at the end of the session.

Pet Health Instructor
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