Read time: 1 min
17 Aug 2020
By Dr. Ciara Clarke
Eating, drinking, playing tug rope - your dog’s teeth have a tough job. Plaque and tartar build-up can create an ideal environment for bacteria to set up home in your dog’s mouth leading to smelly breath, infected gums, dental pain or a root abscess and in severe cases, damage to your dog’s internal organs. Latest research has proved the very best way to care for your dogs dental health is good old-fashioned brushing.
Many owners are reluctant to brush their dog's teeth as they feel their dog won't like it, but most respond well and actually enjoy the new fuss, not to mention, most doggy toothpastes are really tasty!
Prevention is always better than cure, so introduce teeth brushing as a puppy so he or she grows up feeling it’s normal routine.
Choosing a doggy toothpaste; this contains an enzyme that breaks down bacteria and is specially formulated to be extra tasty and enjoyed by dogs. Keep each session short. To start, gently stroke your dog’s cheek for a minute or two whilst they get used to the action. For the next few days, let them lick a small amount of toothpaste from your finger too. Next, rub some toothpaste on your dogs gums. Using a regular flat head toothbrush, build this up to gently brushing their teeth. Of course, you should take care when putting your fingers into your dog’s mouth. We don’t recommend doing so if your dog is likely to become annoyed and snap out of frustration.
On their next health check, your vet might advise a scale and polish for a more thorough cleaning. It is a straightforward procedure, but will usually mean your dog spends a day at the vet.