Should I brush my dog’s teeth?

Caring for your dog’s teeth is as important a part of owning a pet as feeding and bathing him. It’s unfortunately true that a large percentage of dogs have oral health problems by the time they are three years of age. You can reduce the likelihood of your dog becoming one of these statistics by establishing a dental care routine right from when he’s a puppy.

Other statistics show that just by caring for your dog’s teeth, you can add 3-5 years to her life! Isn’t that amazing? Most of us don’t ever brush our dog’s teeth– EVER. But now you know, so you’ll do something to chage that.

The most important part of your dog’s home dental care routine is brushing his teeth. This prevents plaque accumulating on his teeth and gums, and hardening into tartar. Ideally, you should brush his teeth twice daily, just as you do your own. However, life can sometimes get in the way, so if you can manage it once a day, that’s certainly better than not at all. And if you’re like most people once every few days would still be heroic!

It can be hard to work out the best way to hold your dog, and the easiest way to maneuver the toothbrush in his mouth. Here are some suggestions that may help; try them out and see what works best for you.

1. Choose the right toothpaste. Human toothpaste is totally unsuitable for dogs. It is soapy and lathers too much, and it isn’t designed to be swallowed. It also tastes minty which won’t appealto most dogs. KissAble toothpaste is specifically designed for dogs. It doesn’t lather, it tastes good, and it is safe if your dog swallows it.

2. Position your dog in such a way that you can easily get to his teeth. You can try squatting on the floor in front of him and lifting his lips. You may want to place your smaller dog onto a higher surface and stand in front of him. Another option is to sit your dog beside you and wrap your arm around his neck, and then lift his chin up with your hand.

3. Gently lift your dog’s lips and start brushing his teeth in a circular fashion. This doesn’t really have to be any more technical than how you would brush your own teeth. It’s particularly important to brush the areas where his teeth and gums meet. The back teeth are where oral disease usually occurs first so make sure you reach right to the very back of your dog’s mouth every time you brush.

4. Make sure you brush every surface of his teeth. You need to brush the outside, the inside and the biting surface of every tooth. You can make this easier on yourself by using theKissAble toothbrush. Its unique design allows you to clean all surfaces of your dog’s tooth at once. The firm bristles will clean the plaque from his teeth while softer bristles massage his gums. Once you’ve completed the top row of teeth then do the same on the bottom row.

Some dogs will not warm to teeth brushing and the struggle will become so great that you will want to give up. In that case, there are sprays on the market that will help with oral hygeine. While not as good as brushing, at least it’s something. Try a probiotic spray which will keep your dog’s mouth balanced and healthy by reducing plaque-causing bacteria, which can cause bad breath, gum disease, multiple infections and heart disease.

Caring for our dog’s teeth may not be the highlight of our day but try to look on the tooth cleaning routine as an opportunity to not only care for your dog’s teeth, but to give him a cuddle and lots of positive attention.

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