The truth is that few handlers care regularly for their dog’s teeth. A lack of oral hygiene can lead to serious health problems, and not only in the gums or teeth.
In addition to regular veterinary reviews and care, at home we can follow a series of measures aimed at keeping your teeth in the best possible condition. It is important that we start hygiene from puppies. Let’s see how to proceed.
Index of contents
- 1 Dental hygiene for dogs
- 2 Tooth brushing technique
- 3 Getting the dog used to the toothbrush
- 4 Oral hygiene maintenance
- 5 Warning signs
Dental hygiene for dogs
For sale we will be able to find different oral cleaning products. What they have in common is that all have been specifically formulated for dogs. We never have to use a toothbrush or toothpaste for people. This is designed to produce foam, which can displease the dog. Furthermore, he does not know how to pick it up or spit it out.
The veterinaryn or dog groomer will be the ones who recommend the best products for our dog. Advice is important because the composition of toothpastes varies. They are available with abrasives, oxygenators that limit bacterial growth, disinfecting chlorhexidine or zinc that favors the healing of gum diseases.
That is why you have to attend to the condition of the dog to choose the most appropriate, especially if it already has an oral problem. Of being a healthy dog, we could make our own pasta mixing a tablespoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of water.
Tooth brushing technique
We can clean teeth and gums with our finger or with a soft nylon brush. If we decide on the finger, we will have to wrap it in gauze. We will put the toothpaste on it. Carefully and looking for a time when the dog is calm, especially if it is the first time, we will lift our lips and rub teeth and gums.
The maneuver must be done smoothly and making circular movements. If we are too energetic, we can produce bleeding. In principle, we do not need to clean the inside of the teeth because the dog, with its tongue, will carry the paste to all areas.
If, instead, we decided to use a special brush, we will have to place it at an angle of approximately 45 degrees in parallel with the gums. We will move it by drawing small circles both for the teeth and for the gums. Pay special attention to the area where the tooth meets the gum.
Getting the dog used to the toothbrush
Oral hygiene maneuvers are not complex, but it is common that the dog does not accept them at first. Whether we begin to apply them to puppies or adults, we must plan it as a gradual procedure. At first, we can be satisfied if we manage to brush a side or for a few seconds.
If the dog is overly stirred or uncomfortable, we should never force it. It is better to finish the session by rewarding him. This way you will be receptive to the next cleaning. As you get used to it, encouraged by our praise and awards, never with punishment or yelling, we will gradually increase the time and the brushing area.
Oral hygiene maintenance
In addition to dental cleaning, we can take into account a series of measures that will help us maintain healthy teeth. In fact, these guidelines can almost completely prevent dental disease. They are as follows:
- Although it has other disadvantages, it is generally considered that feeding with dry feed favors teeth cleaning.
- It is also shown that dogs that are fed BARF diet they suffer less oral problems, since the own feeding works cleaning their teeth (when chewing bones, for example).
- It is better to give the dog food in one or several feedings a day than to allow him continuous access to food.
- If the dog’s menu consists of wet or homemade food, it is also advisable to offer dry biscuits or the like to help clean teeth.
- Tooth brushing should be included in the hygiene routine several times a week, using specific toothpaste for dogs.
- Hygienic measures should be started as soon as possible, as they will be much more effective if we start when the mouth is still healthy.
- In dogs that already have an oral problem, brushing the teeth should be daily.
- It is not convenient to offer the dog to gnaw too hard objects.
- Every year we must take him to a dental checkup. If you have tartar, it can be removed in this consultation. For this, ultrasound cleaning and general anesthesia are performed. You can also use natural techniques to remove tartar.
If we have not brushed our dog’s teeth or we have already adopted it with oral problems, there are a series of symptoms that will indicate that we have to go to the vet. These cases cannot be solved just by cleaning the teeth. These are the warning signs:
- Eat slowly or stop eating.
- Larger or heavier foods fall from the dog’s mouth.
- Head tilt.
- Bad mouth odor.
- Swallowing difficulties
- Problems opening and closing the mouth.