Dogs Teeth

Looking after your dog’s teeth!

teethEvery morning and every evening, we are told we need to brush our teeth; the importance of oral hygiene is taught in schools, and passed down from mother and father to daughter and son.  Dog, like humans, need their teeth cleaning.  This doesn’t need to be done quite as frequently has humans; your canine friend needs their teeth cleaning two to three times a week.  Regular check-ups at the vets will also help to keep any problems at bay. Cleaning your dog’s teeth doesn’t mean however that you grab a toothbrush and toothpaste from the same section of the supermarket that you buy your own!

It is important to keep your dog’s teeth clean because there is a knock on effect if it isn’t kept under close inspection.  If your dog has bad breath, it could be an indication that they have a periodontal disease, which is caused by a build-up of plaque.  Unfortunately if not taken care of, this can lead to a bacterial infection; this can spread, as it enters the bloodstream, and can affect other organs of the body.

Feeding your dog a healthy diet, and giving your dog dry food is the first step to dental hygiene.  As dog’s love chewing their teeth can be kept healthy by simply giving them a plastic bone, such as a nylabone, to chew.  You can also purchase dental sticks which help to keep their gnashers nice and shiny. There are supplements which you can add to their food which has beneficial effects on their teeth.

You can also get a toothpaste and a range of tools to clean your dog’s teeth with. Human toothpaste isn’t edible, so it isn’t suitable for your canine. Go to your local pet store and find a flavour your dog likes; it will make your life much easier when trying to get those teeth clean. You can either use a doggy toothbrush, a rubber cap that fits on your fingers, a wash cloth or even a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. Once you have found the best implement, lift your dog’s upper lips and brush his or hers teeth in a circular motion. After you have done the top teeth, move on to the bottom ones; don’t forget the teeth at the back as these are the ones most likely to cause problems. If your dog wriggles and squirms, you may need a second person to hold them still, or it may be that you need to find another flavour of toothpaste so that they enjoy the experience.