No one likes an emergency visit to the dentist, which is why we brush our teeth twice a day. So why don’t we do the same for our dogs?
It may sound like a tricky and potentially dangerous task, but brushing your dog’s pearly whites on a regular basis is essential to avoid serious problems like gum disease and even tooth loss, leaving your pet in pain.
You can help to prevent such issues simply by taking care of their teeth and bringing them to Northlands for regular dental check ups. And don’t forget, you can always contact us for advice.
Why looking after your dog’s dental health is important
You can expect to see the following benefits:
- Prevention of build-up of tartar and plaque
- Prevention of gingivitis and gum disease
- Ability to check for trauma such as broken or fractured teeth
- Ability to inspect for other orthodontic problems
Brushing your dog’s teeth should therefore be an important step in their dental care regime.
Top tips for brushing your dog’s teeth
Head vet Catherine has this advice for keeping your dog’s teeth in good health.
- Start young – if you have a puppy, now is the best time to start getting them used to having their teeth brushed. If you need help with this, why not book a nurse's appointment to learn how to clean your dog's teeth?
- Be gradual and gentle – start by letting your dog taste their toothpaste and work up to brushing their teeth for a few seconds and building up. This will help them get used to having their teeth brushed.
- Use toothpastes specifically for dogs – human toothpastes contain certain fluorides and detergents that we will spit out, but a dog will swallow theirs so make sure you get a toothpaste that is specifically made for pets.
- Use a toothbrush specifically for dogs – our toothbrush heads are too wide for your dog’s mouth. If you have more than one pet, make sure they have their own individual brush to avoid spreading germs.
- Brush at the back – dental problems in pets are more likely to occur in the upper, back teeth, so make sure you brush these too.
- Give them chews – giving your dog plenty of things to chew on is also a great way to help keep their teeth clean. If you're using edible chews, be sure to do this in moderation as many brands can contain high levels of fattening ingredients.