Is Brushing Important for Your Dog?

Smiling boxer dog

Getting yourself to the dentist is always a hassle, but what about your pups? If you have perfect teeth and want to share your oral hygiene routine with someone, you can start in your own home! Your dog, once fully grown, will have 42 teeth which makes their mouths just as susceptible to plaque and dental wear as you are! So it’s time to get down and dirty with your dog.

Smiling dogDog’s Need a Toothbrush, Too!

Without proper brushing, a dog’s teeth can build up plaque which can cause bad breath. In addition, this can result in gum disease and even tooth decay for your pup. It’s important that you brush your dog’s teeth daily or at least routinely once or twice a week to prevent bacteria buildup.

You don’t necessarily have to use a fancy dog toothbrush, but it can be helpful if your dog isn’t fond of brushing time. If you have smaller dogs, you can use finger brushes, which fit perfectly in their tiny mouths. If you have a big dog, you can consider using brushes that have longer handles to make sure you get all of the teeth cleaned without shoving your entire hand in its mouth.

Always Use Dog Specific Toothpaste

Definitely do not use your own toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. The ingredients in the toothpaste we use can be deadly to your dog if ingested in large amounts. Even if you use a little bit of your regular toothpaste, your dog could experience serious discomfort or stomach issues.

You can find dog specific toothpastes at your local pet stores. They come in many flavors, from mint to chicken, that you can choose from! Picking your dog’s favorite flavor can really help in the brushing process as it makes it easier to keep them still while you brush.

Get to Brushing!

Husky smilingOnce you find the perfect toothpaste, lift your dog’s upper lip slowly and start with the upper teeth first. You should hold the brush so that the bristles are angled to reach the gums, as well as the teeth. Angling is important because it allows you to massage the gums, while also cleaning your pup’s teeth.

However, you may realize that working around the gum area can cause slight bleeding. Light breeding is normal, so don’t stress. However, heavy bleeding can be an indication that your dog has a gum disease. Schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible if you find that your dog is bleeding heavily after a brush.

Be sure that you are being gentle when you brush your dog’s teeth. If you are too rough, you may cause the gums to bleed more than expected. Use a soft, circular motion to brush your teeth, and you can avoid any serious injury.

French Bulldog SmilingAnd You’re Done!

It’s important that you talk to your dogs as you brush their teeth. This helps them remain calm while you get to work on their teeth. If they are overly upset or uncomfortable, you can pet them during the process to help ease their discomfort, too. Once you are done, you can reward your pup with a treat if they did well during their brushing.

We’re Here to Help

Keeping your dog’s teeth healthy is important, but it’s also important to keep up with your own teeth. If we spent half as much time taking care of our own teeth as we do taking care of our pets, we would have no problem making it to the dentist every six months.

Be sure you are visiting your dentist regularly, brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing routinely. Even though we can’t help your dog with oral health, we can help you at Dr. Chris Mott’s office! Keep all your family, human and furry alike, happy by brushing regularly and flossing, too!




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