If you ever wondered whether or not you should be brushing your dog’s or cat’s teeth? It’s not really a silly question. Just like humans the food that they are eating can build-up and cause tartar and plaque to form overtime which eventually leads to cavities and tooth loss.
While the process might take some getting used to, it doesn’t have to be aggravating for you or your pet. Here are some tips and tools you can use for improving your pet’s oral health.
Choose a Quality Toothpaste & Toothbrush
While Toothpaste that is safe for dogs comes in various flavor options, that doesn’t mean you should ever substitute it for human toothpaste. The ingredients in our toothpaste are very strong for their digestive systems and the mint flavors are likely a turn off. Even with safe for dog toothpaste, it’s important to only use a very small dab on the toothbrush to work up a lather in their mouth as you scrub. The same is true for toothbrushes. A human toothbrush is typically larger to cover the surface of our teeth but dog toothbrushes are smaller to reach confined areas and not irritate their gums when brushing.
Start Slow and Use Positive Reinforcement
The actual act of brushing your dog’s teeth can be a bit awkward and they will likely pull away or not want to sit still while you try to insert this object into their mouth and rub it against their teeth. However, it is critical that you use positive reinforcement and start slow. Rewards should come in the form of praise for a good job. Once they get used to sitting still for the scrubbing you can show them what a good job they are doing instead of giving them a treat after you’ve just cleaned their teeth.
Dental Focused Toys and Treats In-Between Brushings
While brushing your dog’s teeth is vital for oral health there are some tools you can use to help you in the meantime;. If you’re having trouble getting your dog to sit still for the brushing or you just want something in between those sessions to keep their mouth fresh clean and the debris scrubbed from their gum line. Choose dental-focused toys and treats that are aimed at chewing and feature different raised textures that will get into the grooves of the teeth as they manipulate them in their mouths.
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