How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Jun 15, 2020

Dog chewing on toothbrush

Periodontal disease is not only one of the most common health conditions seen among adult dogs, but it is also one of the most preventable. Most pet owners don’t know that the simple act of brushing your dog’s teeth could potentially add years to their life. If you are ready to help your dog keep up with their dental hygiene, this article was made for you. We will explore how to brush your dog’s teeth and some of the reasons a dog veterinarian would encourage you to make it a habit each day. 

There’s a common misconception that all dogs have bad breath; however, this often caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar inside of their mouth. Much like, humans this causes bacteria to multiply and creates what we assume to be bad breath. In many cases, without the proper support, a dog could be developing early signs of periodontal disease by the age of 3. Taking to the time to brush your dog’s teeth can help remove these issues and help reduce the smell of his or her breath while keeping your dog veterinarian happy with the overall health of your pet. Some other conditions that are possible without good canine oral hygiene include: 

  • The development of oral fistulas 
  • Osteomyelitis that causes bone infection 
  • Bacteria entry into the bloodstream 
  • Destruction of gum tissue and bone around teeth 
  • Jawbone weakening 

Now that you know the consequences of poor oral hygiene in dogs, let’s get to the part that matters. Before starting an oral hygiene plan for your dog, you will likely need to get a few supplies like a toothbrush designed for dogs; however, speaking with your dog veterinarian will likely help determine what supplies you actually need. Generally, you will want to avoid using human toothbrushes because they don’t contour to the shape of a dog’s mouth and may contain harmful chemicals. Remember, it may take time for your dog to adjust to the process and the act of brushing your dog’s teeth will require patience. 

Start by brushing your dog’s teeth slowly. In the beginning, you may only be able to brush a few teeth before your dog starts to run away. However, by continuing the process regularly, your dog will become more accustomed to it. Apply slight pressure and brush in small circles. Keep in mind that applying too much pressure could hurt the dog’s gums initially, particularly since this is a new process for him or her. 

Since a dog’s tongue is a little rough, it can naturally help remove some plaque from the interior of the teeth. Although you may want to still brush here, if possible, to expedite the removal of the plaque that may be present. Since dog toothpaste doesn’t need to be rinsed like ours. After brushing for 2 to 3 minutes, it is ok to let the dog lick the leftover toothpaste off to further remove plaque that may be present. Once this is completed, the process is done! 

Why Choose Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital? 

If you are struggling to keep your dog’s teeth clean, an experienced dog veterinarian at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital is here to help. We provide comprehensive dental care plans for a variety of animals to ensure their mouth remains just as healthy as they are. If you are ready to get started, contact us today to schedule your appointment with one of our experienced and compassionate veterinarians!