The care of your dog’s teeth is easy to overlook. Humans don’t often study their dog’s teeth and try to stay as far away as possible from the smelly breath – yuck! Have you ever wondered why your dog’s breath does smell, though? If your dog has bad breath or visibly dirty teeth, it may be time to give them attention!
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
I know it seems a little silly to brush your dog’s teeth, but you wouldn’t believe the benefits! Fresher breath (your dog will always have an element of bad breath, but brushing can help reduce it; yours wouldn’t smell minty either if you ate dog food!) and less tartar buildup are the wonderful results of regular brushing. If you open up your dog’s mouth, you may see little specks of brown, orange, and yellow on his teeth. This is tartar, and too much of it can cause teeth to rot. If you let the tartar build up, a veterinarian may have to professionally remove it, which can be expensive. Save your dog the discomfort and you the money by investing in a dog toothbrush and special doggy toothpaste.
There are two different types of toothbrushes for dogs: the traditional toothbrush like the one humans use and the finger brush, which slides onto your finger, allowing you to put your finger into your dog’s mouth to brush. Personally, I think that the finger brush is easier to work with, but if you can’t stand even the idea of putting your finger into your dog’s mouth, a normal toothbrush might be a better idea.
To make brushing your dog’s teeth a better experience, put a little doggy toothpaste on the toothbrush and let your dog lick it for his first brushing. Do it again the next day, but try to get him to take it into his mouth. After he is comfortable with that, rub it on his teeth once or twice and then let him lick it. As the days go by, increase the amount of times you stroke his teeth with the brush until he is fine with you brushing them. You probably don’t need to brush your dog’s teeth every day, but if you can manage it 2-3 times a month your dog’s teeth will feel and look a lot better.
A Reminder: Never use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. There are some ingredients in it that could make your furry friend very sick.
Bones can help reduce tartar, but they aren’t as powerful as brushing your dog’s teeth. Provide your dog with large, made in the USA bones to help keep his teeth clean along with regular brushing. You might even want to buy some chewy dental sticks for your dog to munch on. For more about bones, read this article.