Your dog may not like it very much. You may dread it. But brushing your dog’s teeth is incredibly important to their overall health. (Not to mention your olfactory nerves.) Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing exactly that, complete with some innovative canine tooth brushing tools designed to take the bite out of your dog’s dental care routine.
Why Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth Matters
You know that doggy dental care is important. Your vet has told you this. You’ve seen the flyers. You’ve done the Googling. And yet, you probably still don’t do it often enough. If at all. Indeed, it has been estimated that only 2% of pet owners brush their pet’s teeth daily.
The end result? More and more dogs are being diagnosed with periodontal disease, with more than two-thirds of pets over the age of three suffering from some degree of the disease. And where there’s periodontal disease, any one of these larger oral and health issues might follow:
Tooth decay ultimately tooth loss
Eye and jaw issues
Organ damage and heart disease (courtesy of bacteria from the mouth entering the bloodstream), and more.
Long story short: doggy dental hygiene really is important. The best place to start? Make brushing your dog’s teeth a priority!
Of course, this is easier said than done. Truth be told, neither dogs nor their parents generally enjoy this activity. Fortunately, with the right processes in place, along with the right tools – like PawReady’s BrushMate Dual-Ended toothbrush and the revolutionary BiteBlock – keeping your canine companion’s canines sparkling can become habit rather than harrowing chore.
The Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Prep for success
From the day you get home with the newest member of your family, start getting your dog comfortable with your hands in and around their mouth.
Step 2: Choose the right time and place
Pick a time when your dog is calm and relaxed, preferably after a walk or exercise session, before embarking on your dental adventures. Find a quiet and comfortable space where both you and your dog can focus without distractions.
Step 3: Invest in the right tools
Invest in a toothbrush specifically designed for dogs. PawReady’s dual-ended BrushMate toothbrush is specially designed to gently clean all sizes of teeth. Now, before you start brushing, let your dog sniff and lick the toothbrush to get familiar with it. This will help reduce their anxiety or resistance to the brushing process.
You will also need dog-friendly toothpaste. Human toothpaste can be harmful to dogs, so it’s important to use a product specifically formulated for them.
For added comfort and safety – for your fingers and your dog’s gums – try the PawReady BiteBlock. This revolutionary design allows you to brush your pet’s teeth without fear of being bitten, while keeping their gums from getting hurt.
Of course, your dog isn’t just going to accept this tool no questions barked. Make sure to follow all instructions and guidelines offered by PawReady, and remember that your pet may need to be trained to accept the BiteBlock in their mouth. Progressively build up brushing sessions over time, until your pet is comfortable with the BiteBlock. Which leads us to step number four…
Step 4: Start slow and gentle
Go slowly, allowing your dog time to get used to the tools. Run your fingers around their teeth and gums. Allow them to taste the toothpaste. Once they seem less cautious more curious, get brushing.
Step 5: The business of brushing
Taking your time, and being patient with your dog’s reaction to the process:
Gently lift your dog’s lips and begin brushing in a circular motion along the gum line.
Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush the outer surfaces of the teeth using gentle, circular motions.
Start with the lower teeth, brush for about 30 seconds, then move to the upper teeth on the same side.
Pay particular attention to the gum line and back molars where plaque and tartar tend to accumulate.
Repeat these steps on the other side of your pup’s mouth.
Step 6: Focus on routine and consistency
While the goal is to get to daily brushing sessions, you don’t need to go from zero to doggy dental hero! Start by brushing once a week, and slowly build up sessions, giving your dog time to get used to this new gnasher routine.
Regularity is important for maintaining good dental health and preventing dental issues. The more consistent you are, the easier the process will become for both you and your dog.
Step 7: Reward and praise
Throughout the process, provide positive reinforcement, praise, and occasional treats to reward your dog for their cooperation. This will help create a positive association with toothbrushing and make it a more enjoyable experience for them. Indeed, done right, doggy dental care can even strengthen the bond between pooch and pooch parent.
Step 8: Consult a professional
Again, don’t try to be a doggy dental hero. If your dog shows signs of extreme discomfort or aggression, such as growling, snapping, or biting, it’s best to consult a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for guidance.
With time, patience, and PawReady*, you and your furry friend can go from doggy breath to doggy fresh in one wag of your dog’s tail. Now that’s what they call fang-tastic.
*PawReady ships free across the US – no minimum purchase required.
The post The Step-by-Step Guide to Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth appeared first on Animal Wellness Magazine.