If your dog has bad breath, it’s not fun to snuggle up close to him, and it’s even worse when he tries to give you a kiss on the cheek! The problem is, brushing a dog’s teeth is just so darn hard. If I even approach my dog with a toothbrush she freaks out. It takes both my husband and I to hold down this 10 pound fluff ball, and even then she flops around like a fish out of water. Luckilly, there are a whole host of different tools and forms of canine dental products to choose from. So if your dog hates the brush, you can try a gel, spray or wipe. In this article we are going to review some of the dental programs available for your best friend.
How do you get started? Brush Those Canines
The most important part of caring for your dog’s teeth and gums is brushing them twice daily, just as you do your own (OK- if you do it even once a week you’ll be ahead of most). However, human toothpaste isn’t suitable for dogs, and our toothbrushes may be too big, too hard or just too awkward for our canine companions.
The Kissable toothpaste and brush combination is the ideal choice for most dogs. This toothbrush has a unique design and soft bristles which allows you to effectively clean all the surfaces of your dog’s tooth with one fell swoop, while gently massaging his gums. Dogs often don’t like mint, so Kissable toothpaste is vanilla flavored, and quite safe if your dog decides that it tastes good enough to swallow. If you’re looking for an effective and gentle cleanser for your dog’s teeth, this is the product to use. The only downside is that for very small dogs, the brush may be a little too big for the dogs mouth (which is a shame as it’s a really cool three sided brush that cleans the whole tooth in one go).
If your dog already has signs of gum disease, he’ll need something a little more powerful. The Happytails Clean Well Dental Gel is particularly suited to dogs that need an antimicrobial teeth and gum cleanser. Echinacea, Myrrh gum and Goldenseal Root are natural antimicrobials and will help control infection, while the Bloodroot reduces any inflammation in his mouth. The addition of Peppermint Oil will make his breath smell fresh, and ease any pain associated with inflamed gums. This product only contains herbs and does not contain sorbitol as many toothpastes do. Instead it is sweetened with stevia.
What if Your Dog Hates Her Toothbrush?
3. Dental Wipes
Be advised that nothing, no matter what the manufacturer says, works as well as brushing your dogs teeth. The abrasion provided by the brush is critical in ridding the dog’s teeth of plaque and tartar. That being said, doing something is better than doing nothing, which is what most people do if their dog won’t tolerate brushing. But don’t fret, there are some effective remedies.
This is where Dental Wipes come into their own. These soft textured wipes are infused with baking soda and botanicals like aloe and pomegranate. The baking soda gently cleans teeth and provides abrasion, while the aloe and and pomegranate control bacteria and reduce the accumulation of dental plaque. Recent studies have shown that pomegranate is effective in making teeth slippery so plaque doesn’t cling to them.
The dental wipes are perfect if your dog just doesn’t want to have her teeth brushed or if you have a very small dog. This is the only form of dental care my Maltese will tolerate.
In conclusion, yes, keeping your dog’s teeth clean is a major commitment but in the end your dog will live longer (yes, it can add up to 3 years to your dog’s life) and your dog’s kisses will be much more enjoyable. Remember, if your dog hates brushing there are other options. So to start, test some of the different products listed above and see what’s easiest for you and the dog. Then, ideally brush your dog’s teeth everyday for best results. If you don’t make that goal, don’t give up. Doing something is better than doing nothing. So start out at once a week, and build from there. Good Luck!