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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cleaning Dogs Teeth Is Critical For Their Good Health

The topic of cleaning dogs teeth is sometimes met with laughter and funny looks but the fact is that there is nothing funny about a dog with bad teeth.  Just like humans, dogs need to practice good oral hygiene as having bad teeth can lead to a lot of health problems, the least of which is bad breath.

Just like in people, bacteria can build up in your dogs mouth.  If his teeth are not brushed regularly this can cause a hard, calcified build up that literally needs to be scraped off with a tool.  If left this way, your dogs teeth will rot and the bacteria will work it’s way into your dogs system damaging important organs and shortening your dogs life span.

One thing you should do to insure this does not happen is make sure your dog has regular Vet appointments that include a dental checkup. Don’t be surprised if your dog has to go in for a “scaling” where the calcified tarter is scraped away from the teeth - especially if his dental care has been neglected for some time.  Don’t worry, though, this procedure is quite harmless although your dog will be anesthetized so he might be groggy (and have sore teeth) for a day or two afterwards.

In order to limit these scaling procedures to a minimum, cleaning dogs teeth on a regular basis is critical.   This may be easier said than done, especially if you have never cleaned your dogs teeth before but patience and perseverance will pay off.

You can, and should, brush your dogs teeth just like you do your own.  There are two types of toothbrushes available for this - one is a rubber tube that fits over your finger and has rubber “bristles” on the end and the other is a toothbrush that looks very similar to a “human” toothbrush but angled a bit differently.  You’ll have to experiment with your dog to see which one works best for you.

The next thing you need is toothpaste.  They actually make special toothpaste for dogs and you don’t want to use “people” toothpaste as this won’t be good for your pet.  The “dog” toothpaste has enticing flavors like poultry and beef which sounds pretty gross to me, but my dog seems to love it!  More importantly than the flavor though is the enzymes that the toothpaste contains - they are specifically for battling the bacteria that builds up in a dogs mouth so you don’t want to skip using the toothpaste when you brush your pets teeth.

When cleaning dogs teeth, you need to be sure to get each and every tooth - even the ones way in the back - as well as around the gums.  Your dog probably isn’t going to like this at first but after a while he will get used to it and you really do need to be persistent and brush his teeth every day.  Doing so will help keep your pet healthy and those doggy kisses smelling sweet and fresh!

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