PetCare Veterinary Clinic Rustington

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You and Your Pet

Brushing a Dog's Teeth

Brushing our pet's teeth is the gold standard for prevention of dental disease. It is important to make sure that toothbrushing is fun for ALL concerned - otherwise it won't be done on a daily basis & regular daily toothbrushing is key to prevention of dental disease.

It is important not to use ordinary human toothpaste. This has not been designed to be swallowed and the mineral content may cause problems. Special toothpastes have been developed that are safe for pet use, the Logic Oral Hygiene Gel and the Enzymatic Poultry Flavour Toothpaste is made in an attractive flavour and is highly palatable for both cats and dogs.

Toothbrushing, to be effective, has to be carried out regularly - ideally at least daily. In order to do this it cannot be a battle - it has to be enjoyable - both for your dog and for you!

Getting Started:

It is important to use a special pet toothpaste, preferably a highly palatable one like the Logic Oral Hygiene Gel or Enzymatic Poultry Toothpaste . Initially just allow your dog to play with the toothbrush and paste and get used to the idea of having it in their mouths.

Try to set aside a regular time each day - dogs are creatures of routine. Many owners find that last thing at night is the best time & quickly their dogs come to expect that final interaction before settling down for the night. Once daily (or more) is best.

Don't try to brush the teeth perfectly on Day 1. Take your time, gradually increasing the effectiveness of your toothbrushing.

Place a little paste on your finger and allow your dog to lick it as a treat, then smear a little on their gums and allow them to lick it off. Gradually encourage your dog to enjoy having their mouths handled with verbal encouragement and a good tasting toothpaste. It is important that your dog feels that toothbrushing is fun. Use lots of verbal encouragement and give lots of praise whenever performing any oral hygiene measures.

Step 1:

Let your dog settle - perhaps after having had a lick of the oral hygiene gel. But do make them sit – a moving target is far harder to deal with!

Step 2:

Place your hand on their muzzle

Step 3:

Gently push the lip in between the teeth – this gently holds the mouth open. It also helps stop the chewing on the toothbrush that many dogs do to start off with.

Step 4:

Gently place the toothbrush onto the rows of teeth. The double sided brush neatly fits over the teeth. Gently rub the toothbrush back and forwards to clean the teeth and remove plaque.

Step 5:

Don't forget to clean both upper and lower jaws and both sides of the mouth.

Conclusion

If you manage to brush the teeth regularly and use a sensible diet your dog's mouth can stay healthy - like this 8 year old mouth pictured below.

You can purchase the Toothbrushes, Logic® Oral Hygiene Gel and the Enzymatic Toothpaste from us.

Remember to ALWAYS reward your pet with lots of praise during and after tooth brushing. Often the attention and the nice taste of the Logic Oral Gel and Enzymatic Toothpaste is reward in itself - but it doesn’t do any harm to add to that. An Oral Bar or similar treat that has been proven to assist in oral hygiene can make a great reward. However, the best reward your dog will receive is that their health will be greatly improved and lots of problems can be avoided by regular toothbrushing. Toothbrushing is a vital part of your pet's preventive health care. It is just as important as their regular vaccinations.

Remember that dental disease is the most common infectious disease of pets. Helping to prevent it will not only help prevent tooth abscesses, bad breath and loss of teeth - but will also help prevent heart, kidney and other internal diseases in later life.

Start Brushing NOW.