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Grooming & Wellbeing

How to Brush a Dog's Teeth

Dog teethOne of the best ways to get started with tooth brushing is to use a finger cloth to allow your dog to get used to having his mouth inspected.

It is important to use a highly palatable toothpaste or hygiene gel. Human toothpaste must not be used as it is not designed to be swallowed and can lead to problems for your dog. Place a little Oral Gel or toothpaste onto your finger cloth and allow your dog to lick it just like it’s a treat, then smear a little on their gums and allow them to lick it off, slowly move around the mouth, smearing as much gel or toothpaste on all the teeth as best you can. It is important that your dog feels that tooth cleaning is fun. Once your dog is used to the idea of the finger cloth, it is time to introduce the toothbrush.

One the best and easiest toothbrushes is the double sided toothbrush to help effectively clean both sides of the teeth at the same time. To safely brush a dog's teeth, place your hand over your dog's muzzle, push their lips very gently inwards in-between their teeth, this allows the mouth to stay open and can help stop dogs from wanting to chew the toothbrush which many dogs will do the first few times of having this done. With the toothbrush use gentle back and forward motions over the teeth, just like we do with our own.

It is important to try and brush your dog’s teeth as much as you can every week, to help prevent problems such as:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Inflamed gums
  • Tumours in the gums
  • Cysts under the tongue
  • Loose teeth

There are other methods you can use to help keep your dog's mouth clean. There are many veterinary approved dental treats on the market such Dentastix which are specially made to help remove the plaque from your dogs teeth as they chew, not only are they a great treat for your dog but it's helping prevent many gum and teeth problems. Gnawing on a chew toy with many different textures and smells like a Nyla bone can also help massage the gums and help keep the teeth clean.

It is important to only use toxin-free rawhide, nylon and rubber chew toys. Natural food supplements can also help loosen plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums, such as Plaque Off which is made from seaweed. 

So overall there are many different techniques for us to help keep our dog’s teeth and gums clean. Whichever one you decide to use, you can be confident that you’re helping prevent many diseases which surprisingly 1 out of 3 dogs do suffer from.

Charlotte Rose Stanton

Charlotte owns and runs Pooches Paws, a dog grooming and pet care company based in Sussex. Charlotte's life-long dream has always been to work with animals. She has a Diploma in Advanced Care of Canines and Felines. She also trained with a trusted ABTD School of Dog Training & Behaviour. Charlotte has a rather interesting range of pets, including two cheeky Chinchillas and some very spoilt mice and degus. She also has three gorgeous dogs. Visit Pooches Paws or Charlotte's Google+ profile to find out more.

Charlotte Rose Stanton

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