How to brush your dog’s teeth
Your dog’s teeth have a lot of work to do. Dogs use their mouths for more than just eating; they use them to play, explore and taste a lot of their surroundings too. So if your dog’s teeth aren’t properly cared for, it can start to cause problems.
If dog’s teeth are not regularly cleaned, the plaque will build up and turn into tartar. This has a solid, brown, gritty look and feel and can lead to inflammation and tenderness which is no fun for your dog to contend with while trying to eat. It can also go on to cause gingivitis and gum disease.
As with most things in life, prevention is better than cure. You can start by brushing your dog’s teeth daily with a special dog toothbrush and toothpaste (don’t use human toothpaste as this contains chemicals that can be toxic to dogs).
Giving your dog dental chews and a suitable diet has some effect in reducing plaque. The dental chews should be the correct size for your dog; if they are too small they can be a choking hazard. Bear in mind that many dental chews are high in calories; reduce your dog’s normal food intake accordingly so that they don’t put on weight.
Avoid hard chews, bone and stones that can wear down or break teeth.
Start getting your dog comfortable with having their teeth cleaned from as early an age as possible so that they associate this experience with a positive reward. To begin the training, choose a time when your dog is comfortable and relaxed, take it slowly, keep sessions short and stop while your dog is still happy (you don’t want to teach your dog to stop treatment by wriggling) and begin using the following steps:
If your dog’s teeth look like they have a large build-up of plaque you should seek the advice of your vet as they may need professional attention.