Does your dog have bad breath? If you think this is normal, think again! It is the result of plaque and tartar build-up which allows harmful bacteria to grow and cause much damage to other parts of his body. It is as important to have this removed from our dog’s teeth as it is for us. Bones are expensive these days, but chewing and scraping on these remove a good part of the tartar. Even with quality chewies and dry food, this condition still occurs and needs to be attended to.
If you have an older dog it would be best to have your veterinarian determine if professional cleaning is necessary or not. If gingivitis, bleeding gums and periodontal disease is present, then it would be best to have him or her treat your dog. If you have a puppy, then brushing regularly is highly recommended.
There are different flavors of dog toothpaste available, as are gels and sprays and dog toothbrushes are part of the dog dental cleaning costs. It is best to clean your dog’s teeth last thing at night after he drinks. This way the dog teeth cleaning ingredients can mix with his saliva and break down the plaque. Used consistently, this will work well. If your dog balks at the toothbrush, use a finger brush. This attaches to your finger and you brush one or two teeth at a time in a circular motion.
This can and should be a fun experience for you both, but you must be patient as it can take some time, especially with an older dog. To begin with, just dab a little toothpaste on a finger and let him smell and taste it. With one hand lift and gently pull back his upper lip. With the other hand gently swipe all his teeth and gum with more toothpaste or gel on your finger. Praise him again and repeat this on the lower gum and teeth, and then repeat on the other side.
With gentle persistence your dog will grow to enjoy this new habit and will even expect it. Make sure you stop often and praise him. This will reassure him and soon he will let you clean his whole mouth.
Home dog oral hygiene is far less costly than having your veterinarian do it. It is also critical for your dog’s good health. Feeding nutritional dog food will ensure he has all the vitamins and minerals he needs and an occasional beef soup bone or marrow bone (raw) will be a good treat and make him happy.