Dogs are known for being the perfect pet. They are cute, loyal, and so much fun to play with. However, they can also be a little gross sometimes. Most people do not realize that brushing your dog’s teeth is just as important as feeding them or taking them out for walks. In this article, we will discuss why it is necessary to brush your dog’s teeth and give you some tips on how to do it properly!
The Benefits of Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth not only helps keep their mouth clean, but it can also help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. It is estimated that 80% of dogs suffer from some form of oral ailments because they do not get regular dental care. With proper hygiene practices like brushing, you will be able to reduce the risk for these problems down to almost nothing.
Here are some other good reasons to brush your dog’s teeth:
- It’s necessary to remove tartar and plaque buildup that can lead to cavities. Brushing also helps fight bad breath.
- Good oral hygiene is important for your dog because their teeth will start moving closer together as they age, which makes it more likely they will need dental surgery in the future.
- Dogs with a lot of buildup in their teeth might not be able to eat as well, which can lead to malnutrition.
- Brushing removes bacteria that could cause gum disease and tooth loss.
- It reduces the risk of infection in your dog’s mouth or throat because it clears away food particles from teeth and gums before they have a chance to get lodged there.
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth is a fairly easy task, especially if you have a small dog that’s less than 20 pounds.
First, gather your supplies from the vet or pet store: toothbrush, toothpaste, and water bowl (or wet rag). Then, get down to eye level with your pup while holding their head in one hand. Scrubbing is easier when they’re sitting.
Move the brush from one side of the mouth to the other, going back and forth in a “C” pattern. You should use circular motions on front teeth only. Remember to be gentle with your pup’s gums; you will notice that they are sensitive near their canine or fangs!
Lastly, rinse out your dog’s mouth thoroughly after brushing for maximum effectiveness.
How Often Should You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?
So, how often do you need to brush your dog’s teeth?
It’s recommended that you brush your pup’s teeth at least two times a week. Why two times? The reason for this is because it takes at least 24 hours before the plaque from your last brushing starts to form.
If you brush more than twice a week, there is no need to worry about overdoing it! Dogs with serious breath issues should have their teeth brushed every day.
Risks and Side Effects of Not Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
If you do not brush your dog’s teeth, there are many potential problems that can arise. A few of these risks and side effects include:
- Possible Dental Problems – Periodontal Disease, which is a bacterial infection found in the gum tissue around your dog’s teeth.
- Bad Breath – As mentioned before, if you do not brush their teeth then they will continuously struggle with bad breath.
- Infection – Bacteria can also lead to infections, which will cause a dog’s teeth and gums to hurt.
- Mouth Cancer – Which is what the risk of periodontal disease becomes if it gets worse. It has been estimated that up to 80% of all dogs with mouth cancer have some sort of gum infection.
Tips on How to Keep the Process Fun for Both You and Your Pup
Brushing your dog’s teeth does not have to be a struggle. You can make it a fun process by using incentives, such as treats.
There are also kinds of toothpaste designed specifically for dogs that will keep them from feeling like they are choking when you brush their teeth and provide the necessary oral care to minimize bacteria buildup in their mouths.
Like any obedience task, exhibiting good behavior while brushing teeth can be learned through positive reinforcement. Just remember to be patient!
And when things get a little overwhelming, take a break every few minutes by playing some games such as tug or fetch for 15 seconds so that you do not wear yourself out, which will result in slower progress.