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How to Brush and Care for Your Dog's Teeth: The Health Benefits of Dental Hygiene

A dog having their teeth brushed
Good dog dental care can help prevent dental disease

Did you know that one of the most important things you can do for your dog's health is to brush their teeth? Just like with humans, tooth decay and dental disease are very common in dogs. In fact, 80% of dogs will have some form of dental problem by the time they reach three years old. Brushing their teeth may seem like a hassle, but it is well worth the effort. In this article, we will discuss the health benefits of brushing your dog's teeth, as well as how to do it and the best way to introduce good dental care into your dog's life!

Contents of this article

Benefits of brushing your dog's teeth

Checking a dog's teeth as part of good dental hygiene routine
Checking your dog's teeth regularly can help prevent problems

When it comes to your dog's health, brushing their teeth should be one of your top priorities. Not only is tooth decay and gum disease very common in dogs, but these problems can also lead to more serious health issues down the road.

Some of the key benefits of dental care for your dog include:

  • Preventing tooth decay and dental disease

  • Reducing bad breath

  • Helping to maintain healthy teeth and gums

How to brush your dog's teeth

A dog having his teeth brushed
How to brush your dog's teeth

Brushing their teeth is not difficult, but it does require a little bit of patience and some practice. Here are a few tips on how to get started:

Start by getting your dog used to having its mouth handled.

Touch their lips, gums, and teeth with your fingers regularly, so that they become comfortable with the sensation.

A dog sniffing some toothpaste for dogs
Let them have a sniff and get used to the smell and taste

Next, put a small amount of toothpaste on your finger.

Rub it around all of your dog's teeth, using circular motions. Be sure to get all of the tooth surfaces, including the back molars.

Finally, use a toothbrush to brush your dog's teeth

In the same way that you brushed them with your finger. Be sure to use gentle motions and go over each tooth surface at least two or three times.

Reasons why you should brush your dog's teeth

a cute puppy holding a toothbrush for dogs
Start a good dental hygiene routine from an early age

Tooth decay and dental disease are very common in dogs, but tooth brushing can help reduce these problems.

  • Doggies with tooth decay and dental disease are more likely to suffer from other health problems like heart disease, kidney failure, and liver disease.

  • Tooth decay and gum disease can cause bad breath, which is not only unpleasant for your dog, but also for you.

  • Brushing your dog's teeth helps to keep them clean and healthy, which reduces the risk of tooth loss.

  • Regular tooth brushing can also help prevent cavities.

Types of toothpaste to use on dogs

canine dental hygiene can prevent dental disease

There is a wide variety available for canines. Human products are not safe for your furry friend and you should never use human toothpaste. Here are a few tips on choosing the right toothpaste for your dog:

Look for toothpaste that is specifically designed for dogs.

These kinds of toothpaste are made with ingredients that are safe for our furry friends, and they will be labelled as such.

Toothpaste for dogs available from Ralph Woofington online shop for dogs
Dogslife toothpaste from Ralph Woofington

Avoid products that contain fluoride.

Fluoride is toxic to canines, and it can cause serious health problems if swallowed.

Be mindful of allergies or sensitivities

If your dog has any allergies or sensitivities, be sure to choose something that is free of allergens.

Find a flavour your dog will love

Choose a toothpaste that is tasty enough that your dog will enjoy licking it off their teeth.

You can find a great dog dental care range by Dogs Life, available on this website. Check out the dog dental care kit which includes a triple-headed toothbrush, see the dog dental care kit here.

canine dental care kit from Ralph Woofington the online pet shop
The dental care kit by Dogslife

Types of toothbrushes to use on dogs

There are a variety of doggy toothbrushes available, and each one has its own benefits. Here are a few tips on choosing the right toothbrush for your dog:

  • Choose a toothbrush that is soft enough that it will not damage your dog's teeth or gums.

  • If your dog is resistant to having its mouth handled, choose a toothbrush with a long handle so that you can brush their teeth from a distance.

  • Choose a toothbrush that is easy to clean and will not harbour bacteria.

  • Avoid toothbrushes with hard bristles, as these can damage your dog's teeth and gums.

This triple-headed toothbrush by Dogs Life will help you clean your dog's teeth quickly and easily thanks to its innovative design.

Triple-headed toothbrush for dogs by Dogslife from Ralph Woofington the online shop for dogs
Triple-headed toothbrush for dogs by Dogslife

The best way to introduce a good dental routine and keep your dog's teeth clean

Introducing good dental care into your dog's life can be a challenge, but it is definitely worth the effort. Here are a few tips on how to make the transition easier:

Choose toothpaste specifically designed for dogs.

Human products do not taste good to our little best friends and may cause vomiting or diarrhoea if swallowed.

Start brushing your dog's teeth at a young age.

A puppy getting used to a good dental hygiene routine
Start when they are a puppy to get them used to it

Young puppies are more accustomed to new activities, so it is easier for them to accept toothbrushing as part of their regular grooming.

Brush their teeth regularly.

At least once a day is ideal, but even cleaning them once a week can make a big difference in their dental health.

Reward your dog for good behaviour

During toothbrushing with treats or petting. This will help to make toothbrushing an enjoyable experience for both of you.

Check your pet's teeth for dental problems

a puppy having their teeth checked before cleaning
Check regularly for signs of plaque or tartar

You should regularly check the oral health of your dog. Gently lift up their lips and have a look around the gum line and teeth for signs of plaque and tartar. If your dog has got bad breath, plaque buildup could be the cause.

What to do if your dog hates having its teeth brushed.

A dog saying no to a toothbrush
What if they hate having their teeth brushed?

First of all, you are not alone! some dogs just hate it, no matter what you try. Here are some great alternatives.

Silicone finger brush

Silicone finger brushes by Dogslife from Ralph Woofington the online shop for dogs
Silicone finger brushes by Dogslife

If you have had some success with introducing the dog toothpaste and they have been accepting of your finger, then give these silicone finger brushes a try. You simply slip one onto your index finger with a dab of dog toothpaste and guide your finger around all areas of their teeth.

Doggy dental wipes

Dental wipes by Dogslife from Ralph Woofington the dog shop
Dental wipes by Dogslife

So your dog hates the toothpaste and the toothbrush. Fear not! there is another alternative. These doggy dental wipes fit over your finger, and you can give their teeth a quick wipe around. They have a really pleasant taste and when you are done you can just throw it away.

A happy dog after having their teeth cleaned
Your pooch will love their squeaky clean teeth

The health benefits of good dental care are many. Poor oral health can lead to a variety of serious medical problems, including heart disease, liver disease and diabetes. tooth decay is also one of the most common causes of tooth loss in dogs.

Brushing your dog's teeth is one of the simplest ways you can help keep them healthy and cavity-free. Not only does it help keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy, but it also provides an opportunity for you to bond with your dog. So make toothbrushing a part of your regular routine and give your furry friend the gift of good oral health!

This easy to follow video by VetVid is great, and shows you exactly the method you need to use.

a puppy having a dental check up with the vet
Regular oral hygiene can prevent dental disease

If you identify excessive plaque buildup or you are worried about dental problems you may need to ask your vet for advice.

A dog having a dental check up with the vet
Consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's dental health

What is your canine dental care routine? Let us know in the comments below.



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