We’re big believers in doggie smiles. Our four-legged friends like to tell us when they are happy, and they do it with a flash of teeth.
Keeping those teeth clean is a challenge for dog owners. Is it up there on the top ten list of jobs you love? Thought not! But here are the reasons why it’s so important:
- Gum disease isn’t just a problem for humans. Dogs get it too and that means they risk losing teeth, not to mention pain and discomfort.
- Gum disease can lead to other health problems. And it causes bad breath. When your pet is giving you doggie licks, wouldn’t you rather he breathed sweet breath on you?!
Daily brushing for dogs
Daily brushing will help prevent gum disease. Here’s how to do it…
- Buy a custom-made dog’s toothbrush and toothpaste. Human toothpaste can irritate tender tummies. A home-made solution is bicarbonate of soda mixed with water to make a paste.
- You can also use a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger.
- If you’re starting out with toothbrushing, you’ll need to get your doggie accustomed to it. Gently massage his or her lips with your finger once a day so your pet gets used to being touched there.
- Then, move onto the teeth and gums. You can put toothpaste on the teeth to get him or her used to the taste.
- Finally, brush very gently making sure you get every tooth. It will take time and patience as toothbrushing is an odd thing for a dog.
What should you watch out for? The gums should be pink with no signs of swelling. The teeth should be white or yellowy but have no brown tartar. If your doggie has terrible breath, and he drools a lot, this could be a sign of advanced gum disease and you should see your vet.
Your dog might need a thorough tooth clean—a veterinary procedure which scales the teeth and checks the gums for ‘pockets’ where the teeth have come away from the gum and are at risk of falling out.
You can also buy products that act as cleaners—special biscuits and bones.