Do You Need to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

dog with its mouth open hanging out

Most pet owner’s today have a unique bond with their pet and care for them just as they would a human child or other family member. As this shift to pets becoming a key member of the household occurs, we’re seeing more dogs going on vacations with families, eating dinner together and even getting gifts on birthdays and the holidays. 

If you’re worried about your dog’s dental health, perhaps you’ve also been looking into doggy toothpastes. This is the right move because, like humans, the food dogs eat can build up around their teeth and gums and cause cavities and decay. 

So now that you know brushing is important, here are some tips for getting your pup to sit through the new experience of brushing inside their mouths.  

Start with Toys & Treats

Most new habits you want your dog to learn are taught with positive reinforcement like treats or even toys. You can start here with their dental health too. These purposely-designed toys and chews come grooved so they can brush out and clean the debris on the teeth as they chew. Many also come with a breath-freshening flavor as an added bonus.

Only Do What’s Comfortable

Since no dog is the same and it’s up to individual owner’s to understand their dogs temperament and the types of things they will and won’t tolerate, it’s important to focus on doing the brushing in a way that’s most comfortable for your dog. If you can easily put your hands into your dog’s mouth and use a toothbrush to get the job done, you should be able to easily complete this task. If your dog is more hesitant about letting anyone this close to their mouths you may need to slowly work your way to them feeling comfortable about the object you’re about to put into their mouths. Small steps and consistency are key.

Pick High-Quality Options

Be sure when shopping for a toothpaste for your dog that you’re choosing flavors they’ll likely enjoy and that you’re picking a toothpaste that’s been specifically designed for dogs. The ingredients should be safe for their digestive system and you should never, ever substitute human toothpaste. Toothbrushes made to work inside dog mouths are also much smaller in scale and have harder bristles to scrub away the debris. 

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