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How to Care for Your Dog’s Teeth
How to Care for Your Dog’s Teeth

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5 Tips On Brushing And Cleaning Your Dog's Teeth

We all want the best for our pets, and maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial to their overall health and wellbeing. This means cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly and taking it for annual dental check-ups. Without proper oral care, your dog can develop dental diseases like plaque buildups, gingivitis, and tartar, which can have serious consequences, leading to teeth loss and other infections in your dog’s body.

Taking proper care of your dog’s teeth and feeding nutritious food will reduce their risk of developing oral illnesses in the future. Besides, brushing your dog's teeth can be a good bonding experience for you, and your dog may slowly come to love the activity.


Why Is Your Dog’s Dental Care Important?

As a dog parent, you would want your dog’s mouth to be fresh and healthy. Here are 5 reasons why your dog’s dental care is important to its overall health.

  • Preventing Dental Discomfort

Dental pain can be extremely unpleasant for dogs, especially when it is severe. This can be avoided by keeping your dog's gums and teeth healthy.

  • Preventing Teeth Loss

When the bones that support your dog’s teeth become infected or damaged, they may weaken and fall out. Providing good dog dental care will ensure that your dog’s teeth remain healthy. 

  • Preventing Organ Failure

Bacteria residing in the plaque can enter your dog’s bloodstream and travel to the kidneys, heart, and liver. This spread of germs can harm its organs and make your dog sick. It is here that good oral hygiene will prevent bacteria and associated organ damage in your dog.

  • Preventing Mouth Odor

If the smell of your dog’s breath makes you gag, then know that your dog needs a dental cleaning. But when your dog has healthy teeth and mouth, bad breath will not be an issue.

  • Preventing Growing Dental Illness

Since many dogs develop dental disease by the age of three, preventing it might be tough. But good dog dental care can prevent dental disease from escalating to the point where it causes problems throughout its body.

Dogs need regular dental care just like you do; gum disease and broken teeth are the major concerns. Fortunately, pets seldom suffer from tooth decay. Their cone-shaped teeth, non-acidic saliva, and low-sugar diets all help protect them from this nasty ailment. (Note: If you give your pets sweets for snacks, they can get cavities.)

Regular brushing and professional cleaning can keep your dog’s teeth healthy and gleaming. Giving your pet appropriate toys to chew prevents fractures.
 

How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

  • Choose A Quiet Time To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth 

It should just be you and your dog, with no other children or pets in the house.

  • Buy A Toothpaste For Your Dog

Dog toothbrushes can be easily found in pet stores or on the internet. But remember to use only dog-specific toothpaste while brushing your dog’s teeth. 

  • Choose A Good Spot For Brushing Its Teeth

Make sure you are in a well-lit area so you can see what you're doing when brushing your dog's teeth and that your dog is comfortable.

  • Touch The Toothbrush To Its Teeth

Brush the side, front, and back teeth on both the top and bottom of the mouth with the toothbrush. Appreciate and reward your dog for putting up with this.

  • Introduce Toothpaste To Your Dog

Begin by displaying the toothpaste to your dog and allowing them to lick it off your finger.

  • Then Start Brushing Its Top Teeth

Hold its upper lip up and brush the top front teeth. 

  • Move To Brush Its Bottom Teeth

Brush the bottom teeth while holding the bottom lip down. Begin with the front teeth, and then work your way to the side and back.

  • Brush The Sides And Back 

If your dog is sitting still while you’re brushing its teeth, you can brush both the interior and outside of its teeth at the same time. Brushing the insides of the teeth is a little more difficult, so add this step after your dog is calm and after the outsides of its upper and lower teeth have been brushed.

  • Finally, Reward Your Dog 

Brushing your dog’s teeth may be an odd experience. Thus, praise your dog constantly to make this a happy experience. Although it may seem unusual to offer treats when you’re brushing your dog’s teeth. But the primary goal should be to teach the skill, and then you may focus on removing food from the equation later.
 

Start Care Young

When your puppy first begins to get permanent teeth, check carefully to be sure the baby teeth come out as the new teeth come in. Retained teeth can cause the permanent teeth to be crooked. Toy dog breeds, with their tiny jaws, are at special risk for this problem.

While hard foods and chew toys can help keep teeth clean, you need to get your pet used to regular tooth-brushing. As soon as you bring your new pet home, get him accustomed to having his mouth handled. This is good practice for dogs that will be shown; judges check to make sure dogs have their full set of teeth. It is also good training—it teaches the dog to tolerate having things in his mouth without biting or snapping.
 

Feeding Right

What your dog eats affects his "smile." Dry foods and treats help clean plaque from his teeth. Rawhide chews are also good cleaning tools, as are some of the knobby plastic toys on the market. None of these are hard enough to cause tooth damage, but be sure to watch your pet to make sure small pieces of the toys aren't torn off and swallowed. Real bones can also be dangerous for your pet and should not be used for tooth-cleaning purposes.

All dry adult IAMS™ Dog Foods, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Adult MiniChunks, include Daily Dental Care, a special kibble coating that helps reduce tartar buildup for better oral health.
 

Teaching Your Dog To Accept Brushing

It just takes a little time and patience. Begin by running your finger gently over his gums. At first, just rub the outside, but as he adjusts to the routine, begin to open his mouth and rub the gums inside the teeth as well.

As your dog gets accustomed to this, wrap your finger with gauze and rub his gums. Eventually, add a pet toothpaste; do not use human toothpaste. After a few weeks, your dog should be willing to accept a toothbrush for pets, which should have soft, multi-tufted synthetic bristles.

Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and apply it to the area where teeth and gums meet. Rotate it in small circles, overlapping several teeth. Finish with vertical strokes to pull plaque from between the teeth. Repeat until all the teeth on the cheek side are clean. The inside teeth will be more difficult, as your dog may resist opening his mouth, but eventually you'll be able to brush the inside and outside surfaces of all the teeth. For effective cleaning, brush your dog's teeth a couple of times a week.
 

How To Pick The Right Toothpaste For Your Dog?

If you want to keep your dog's teeth clean but are worried about the cleaning process, then you’re not alone. You need to pick a toothpaste advised by your vet as they are usually animal-approved and pet-tested. But most importantly, refrain from using human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. It’s because human toothpaste contains fluoride, which is highly toxic to dogs. This will help in preventing plaque buildups, fight bacteria and improve your dog’s bad breath.
 

How To Protect And Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean?
 

  • By Using Dog Wipes

Dental wipes for dogs are designed to be wiped against your dog's teeth to eliminate plaque. They work in a similar way to toothbrushes and are an excellent way to keep your pet's teeth clean. They're generally more convenient to use than a toothbrush and toothpaste.

  • By Brushing Dog’s Teeth

Brushing your dog's teeth may seem goofy, but it's a great method to keep plaque from forming. Unlike humans, dogs do not require daily tooth brushing. Your dog might not enjoy having its teeth brushed at first but making it a habit will help. Brushing should be done using a dog toothbrush or a fingertip toothbrush. You'll also require dog toothpaste. Consult your vet for advice, and then decide what you and your dog prefer.

  • By Using Chew Toys

Dog chews come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and most of them contain teeth-cleaning characteristics. Chewing is a natural way for your dog to clean its teeth and is beneficial to its dental health. Frequent chewing prevents your dog’s teeth from decaying and also helps clean its teeth. Cow ears, chicken strips, and bully sticks are excellent chews for keeping your dog healthy and happy.

  • By Giving Dog Dental Treats

Dogs adore treats, and dental treats are an excellent way to improve your dog's oral hygiene. These treats are designed to eliminate plaque buildup and typically include chemicals that help to freshen your dog's breath and clean its mouth. They are considerably more liked by dogs than a toothbrush or tooth wipes, and they keep dogs' mouths clean. These treats are available in a wide range of tastes, forms, and sizes, so you're sure to find something your dog will enjoy.

  • By Going For Routine Cleanings

Cleaning your dog's teeth with the help of a veterinarian is probably the smartest way to ensure its dental health. Your veterinarian will be able to determine what is best for your dog's teeth by addressing any problems that even the most devoted dog owner might overlook. 
 

When Your Pet Needs Professional Help

If your dog won't cooperate with home brushing or if you already see brown tartar stains on his teeth or red and bleeding gums, it's time to turn to your veterinarian for help. He or she will give your dog general anesthesia and clean the teeth above and below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar. After the teeth are cleaned, they will be polished to remove microscopic plaque and to make the teeth smooth to discourage plaque from clinging.

Remember, dental care is as important to your pet's health as it is to your own—you owe it to your dog to provide regular tooth care and cleaning.

 

 

FAQ On How To Care For Your Dog’s Teeth

  1. How Should I Take Care Of My Dog's Teeth?
  2. You can take care of your dog’s teeth in the following ways: 

    • Brush your dog’s teeth by using a dog-safe toothpaste and toothbrush 
    • Give your dog to gnaw on dog chew toys
    • Frequently spritz dog dental sprays 
    • Visit the vet for regular dental cleaning

  3. Do Dogs Really Need Their Teeth Cleaned?
  4. Yes! Even dogs develop plaque and tartar on their teeth which is caused by lingering food particles and bacteria. The bacteria then spread to their gums and cause serious inflammation resulting in gingivitis, or worse, teeth loss.

  5. How Can I Remove Plaque Off My Dog's Teeth At Home?
  6. Regularly brushing your dog's teeth using a dog toothbrush and a dog-safe toothpaste is the best way to eliminate plaque. You can also remove tartar from your dog's teeth with a finger brushing. But it may take a lot of training for your dog to tolerate using a finger toothbrush at first.

  7. How Can You Reverse Tartar Buildup In Dogs?
  8. Giving your dog a Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approved dental food that reduces plaque and tartar accumulation through mechanical or chemical ways will help reduce plaque accumulation. Tartar formation is considerably slowed by minimizing plaque formation. Brushing or wiping your dog's teeth daily is recommended.

  9. Can You Use Mouthwash For Dogs?
  10. Yes, you can, but you must use a dog-safe mouthwash. It will help to keep bacteria at bay and decrease plaque when used carefully and diluted in your dog's water bowl.

  • Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels

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    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels

    How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.

     

    1. The Ingredient Panel

    This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.
     

    Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.

     

    2. The Guaranteed Analysis

    Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.

     

    3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address

    This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.

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