Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly can be a challenge. It might be the lack of time from your side or it’s just that the dog is not really used to his teeth being brushed. You don’t see any wolves out in the forest using a toothbrush!
While brushing your dog’s teeth is important, there are some alternatives to keep your pup’s mouth fresh and clean. The important thing is that teeth care is an important part of keeping your dog healthy.
We will discuss other practical options, so stay with me.
If you have a puppy, that is the perfect time to start brushing. Dog toothpaste is usually flavored, and your dog might take it as a treat.
Let’s talk about how to properly brush your dog’s teeth and other practical tips!
1) Brushing your dog’s teeth
According to Dr. Burstyn, it’s best to start brushing when the dog is still small. That’s how the dog will get used to it, and see it as a pleasant part of the daily routine. It may be hard to believe, but some dogs love to have their teeth brushed.
To go near a dog’s mouth, the dog has to trust you, and vice-versa. You will need a specialized enzyme toothpaste created for dogs. Never use human toothpaste!
A good alternative to dog toothpaste is cold-pressed coconut oil.
Start by gently massaging your dog’s mouth with your hand. After the dog is familiar with that, you can put some toothpaste on your finger and rub it onto the teeth. Slowly, you can introduce a soft toothbrush. If you start small, you will have more chances of success!
But what happens if your dog is already older, plain stubborn, or you just adopted him from the shelter? You wouldn’t want to put your hand in there. Luckily there are other options to keep your dog’s mouth healthy!
2) Raw bones and bully sticks
Most dogs will love to chew on raw bones or hard bully sticks. Both will help greatly to clean the dog’s teeth and give much needed mental stimulation. Not only they taste great, but they also help remove plaque from the teeth.
However, keep in mind that the bones always need to be raw, and the proper size! Beef bones are the best choice, as they are harder. Chicken bones break easily and can pose a choking hazard. Also, choose them accordingly to the size of your dog.
Always monitor your dog when you give them bones or bully sticks!
3) Dental treats and chew toys
There are quite a few specially designed dental treats for dogs out there. These treats are shaped in a way that will help to clean your dog’s teeth. In most cases, they are also enriched with enzymes, peppermint, parsley, and other ingredients to promote dental health. This becomes a part of your dog’s training.
Another good option is to choose dental chew toys. These are often made of rubber or similar materials. They are designed to help clean the teeth, while the dog is chewing on the toy.
4) Professional care
Many people are not aware that the dog’s teeth can be brushed. There might be quite a few people that never brushed their pup’s mouth.
Some of them probably bought them dental treats, bully sticks, and bones, or provided them with an overall healthy diet. In that case, their dog might not have (m)any dental problems.
If your dog has visible plaque or other dental problems, visit a veterinarian. Tooth decay, just like in humans can turn into a serious issue.
If your dog’s teeth are still pearly white, support that smile with a healthy diet and tips above!
Here are some links for reference and inspiration:
dental chew toys:
(A good video of a veterinarian teaching how to brush https://youtu.be/54WroRd1GiA )