Canine teeth cleaning is as important for your dog or puppy as it is for humans.
Of course basic care of your pooches teeth should be part of their overall health care regime. In fact most dogs would have had some input from a vet in relation to basic check ups etc so by the age of two to three most dogs would have had their teeth professionally examined and cleaned. Of course how often your dog’s teeth are cleaned, scaled and polished depends on how quickly the tartar and plaque build up.
Of course it is possible as a responsible dog owner to reduce the possibility of your dog experiencing dental problems or disease by following some of the simple steps outlined in our dental health care guide below…
1. Start by feeding your dog dry food or kibble as they are harder and have a more abrasive affect on the teeth which can help to keep them clean.
Try feeding your dog dry kibble a couple of times a day rather than feeding your dog or puppy nibbles here and there. Wet canned dog food is definitely not the best food for keeping teeth clean. If you do prefer to feed your dog canned wet food either because its cheaper or your dog or puppy prefers it try to add a couple of handfuls of dry biscuits to the mix.
There are many different types of dry dog food that is excellent at controlling tartar and plaque build-up but probably two of the best are Eukanuba and Science Diet dog food. You can also speak with your vet or visit a good pet store for advice on the best dog food for optimum healthy teeth and gums.
2. You should also get your dog’s teeth and gums checked on a regular basis. Depending on how quickly your dog’s teeth develop tartar build up an annual check up should be enough.
3. Aim to brush your dog or puppy’s teeth regularly throughout the week (at least three times should be enough). Make sure that you only use a toothpaste that is specifically designed for dogs. Start your canine teeth cleaning regime from an early age (if you start brushing your pooches teeth when your dog is a puppy he will get more used to the brush – which is seen as a foreign object to a small puppy).
Also by starting the canine teeth cleaning regime from an early age this is the time when your puppy’s teeth and gums are at their optimum health (so you can keep them in this condition rather than fighting against teeth that have already developed tartar build-up).
4. Try not to give your dog any chews or toys that are harder than their teeth as this can cause the teeth to break or fracture (which can lead to more problems). Rubber balls and rawhide chews are fine and are less likely to cause any problems. Of course you can also purchase chews and treats that are specifically designed to reduce the build-up of tartar and plaque.
Always avoid feeding your dog or puppy chicken bones as not only can they splinter but they can cause digestive problems and constipation.
Canine teeth cleaning – How to brush your dog’s teeth
As previously mentioned there are a number of very good toothpastes available to purchase – some of these toothpastes can contain ingredients that can be abrasive such as added calcium and silicates.
Of course there are other ingredients contained in different toothpastes that have a different purpose. For example Chlorhexidine which has an antibacterial and antiviral effect on the teeth and gums. Another ingredient that is often found in some canine teeth cleaning products is zinc ascorbate which helps to heal diseased gums and support the healing process.
1. You can start to get your puppy used to an effective teeth cleaning regime (and used to a foreign object in the mouth) by placing one finger (with a small amount of peanut butter on the finger) gently placed inside the mouth.
2. After your puppy has got used to your finger you then need to get him or her used to the feel of something more abrasive. You can do this by wrapping a small amount of gauze around one finger and then adding a small pea size amount of toothpaste and gently rubbing this around the teeth and gums. Rub the teeth and gums in a circular motion.
3. Now your dog or puppy is used to the gauze you should now build on your canine teeth cleaning regime by using a soft toothbrush. You should hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle brushing the teeth and gums in small circular motions.
Congratulations you have completed our guide to canine teeth cleaning. Keep up the regime and your dog or puppy should have happy and healthy teeth and gums.