How to brush dogs teeth for healthy fresh mouth
Looking after your dog’s teeth is just as important as looking after your own and as February marks World Pet Dental Health Month, the experts at PDSA have pulled together top tips for brushing your pooch’s teeth.
PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing explains: “Just like us, dogs can get rotten teeth and gum problems if they’re not looked after and brushed regularly.
“They could become covered with plaque and over time, this can cause painful cavities, gum problems and might lead to your dog losing some of their teeth.
“But cleaning your dog’s teeth is easier than most people think. Follow these simple steps and keep your pooch’s dental health in top notch!”
How do I clean my dog’s teeth?
You can buy special toothbrushes and toothpaste for your dog. It’s important to use pet toothpaste as it is safe for your dog to swallow.
It’s a good idea to start brushing your dog’s teeth when they’re young if you can. They quickly get used to it as part of their routine. It’s never too late to start, though, and older dogs can soon get used to a good scrub!
Take things slowly and get them used to having their teeth cleaned over a few weeks. Start by letting them taste their new dog-safe toothpaste so they think of brushing their teeth as a treat, not a chore. Get them used to having their mouth touched. You can do this by gently rubbing a soft cloth along their gums. Gradually move on to using a brush that fits over your finger. This will get your dog used to the feeling of their teeth being brushed. When your dog’s comfortable and ready, use a proper dog toothbrush. The longer handle will help you reach all of their teeth.
Other ways to keep your dog’s teeth healthy
“Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is the best way to keep their teeth clean and healthy,” added Nina. “But there are some other things you can do in between brushes to help maintain a healthy mouth.”
You can buy toys that are designed to clean your dog’s teeth as they chew on them.
Dental chews and specialist foods can also help to keep your dog’s mouth healthy. Be careful not to feed your dog too many of these as it could make them overweight.
Don’t feed them too many sugary treats as this can cause more bacteria to build up on your dog’s teeth. Don’t feed your dog bones as these can damage your dog’s teeth.
Visit pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/dental-care-for-dogs website.
Signs of dental disease
“If your dog has serious problems with their teeth they’ll need to be seen by their vet – brushing alone won’t solve the painful problem,” Nina warned. Look out for such as bad breath, red or bleeding gums and weight loss.