The Importance of Brushing Your Dog's Teeth

Anyone who has ever owned a pet recognizes the importance of pet grooming. A very important aspect of pet grooming is taking care of the oral hygiene of the pets. This is particularly important in the case of canines. Despite of this, very few dog owners actually realize how important it is to brush their dog’s teeth. Most owners limit their dog’s dental hygiene to that provided by a vet or a groomer. The dog’s teeth should be checked regularly since most of the canine’s activities are dependent on them.

Whenever the owner notices plaque build-up, cavities, or acute halitosis (bad breath) especially the kind that appears regardless of the kind of food the dog is eating, it is time to brush the dog’s teeth. Once the canine starts having dental problems, they will only continue to get worse if the teeth aren’t brushed regularly.

In order to avoid dental problems, some owners resort to brushing their dog’s teeth everyday. This could have both negative and positive impacts. Dogs, unlike humans, have a hefty amount of good bacteria inside their mouth that helps kill germs.  The presence of this bacteria helps keep the dog’s mouth clean and brushing daily can rid it of this bacteria which can be harmful. However, regular brushing can help remove any food particles are could be stuck in the dog’s teeth, lessening the chances of cavities and bad breath.

Hence, as a measure of balance, to maintain the dental hygiene of the canine brushing the dog’s teeth once a week is a good option.  Although regular tooth brushing is important, some owners can avoid it if they give their dogs chew toys to play with as these help remove the plaque on their own. Feeding dry dog food can also be helpful as it breaks down the plaque while the bacteria in the dog’s mouth kill the germs.

Most vets do not recommend avoiding brushing the dog’s teeth. It aids the dog’s oral hygiene and prevents many subsequent diseases. However, in order to brush the dog’s teeth, it will have to be trained. Many dogs will react to the poking of the toothbrush at first as it could them nervous. However, if the owners take it slow and introduce the procedure in small bits, they can avoid upsetting and overwhelming the dog.  Owners can maybe even reward their dogs if they get their teeth brushed properly so the next time it happens; they wait patiently knowing a treat awaits them.

Many stores now stock special toothpastes and toothbrushes meant just for dogs. Some stores even carry small brushes that fit on the finger for further ease. The pet may retaliate to these at first but will eventually come around to it if dealt with patiently. Toothpastes are also available in a variety of flavors such as meat, liver and even mint in case the dog suffers from bad breath. These are formulated such that they are safe even if digested by the dog. Owners should avoid using human toothpaste for brushing their dog’s teeth under all circumstances, as it might upset the dog’s stomach.

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