Healthy Teeth – Healthy Canines

November 10, 2017 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

People sometimes overlook their dog’s dental health. Just like in humans, dental health can affect overall health. Bacteria from periodontal disease can spread to other parts of the body. Brushing their teeth can help improve their dental health, but we know some dogs make that difficult. Below are some tips for brushing their teeth.

• Make sure you have the right kind of toothbrush and toothpaste. Use products specifically made for dogs. Dog toothbrushes are designed to work with the shape of dog mouths. Human toothpaste can irritate a dog’s stomach.

• Choose a calm time to brush their teeth. Trying to brush their teeth right after a play session or in a room when there’s a lot of activity going on is not a good idea. They are much more likely to accept their brushing when they are calm.

• Acclimate them to having you mess with their mouths. At first, just touch their teeth and gums without the brush. If they allow this, then introduce the toothbrush. Be sure to reward them if they tolerate this step.

• Introduce the toothpaste by finger at first so they can acclimate to the taste of it before putting it on the brush. Once they grow to tolerate that, then they should be good with you brushing their teeth.

• As you brush their teeth, be sure to reward them with praise. Teeth brushing is unnatural to dogs, so try to make it a positive and rewarding experience for them. If you can succeed in that, they will be more apt to allow you to brush their teeth.

These steps can help but won’t work for every dog. Some dogs just will not allow it no matter what. If you have concerns about potential dental issues with your pets, come to us. We can examine them and make recommendations based on their specific situations.

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