Should dogs have their teeth brushed?
Are dogs teeth like people teeth? Do they need to have their teeth brushed, have them checked and practice good oral hygiene? Believe it or not, YES!
It is estimated that over 2/3 of dogs over the age of three have periodontal disease, an inflammation or infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth. Periodontal disease starts as gingivitis caused by plaque and often progresses to involve the bony tooth sockets. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to painful tooth loss.
Like us, dogs should have their teeth brushed on a regular basis. While it is ideal to brush them twice a day, its not always practical. Most veterinarians recommend that a dogs teeth be brushed at a minimum of three times per week.
It is best to teach your dog to accept tooth brushing while he/she is still a puppy. If you have an older dog, the training process may take a little longer, but it is still well worth the effort.
You can purchase pet tooth brushes that have multiple heads so you can brush both sides and top of teeth simultaneously. You can also get a finger tooth brush that fits over the tip of your finger.
DO NOT use human toothpaste! Human tooth paste contains ingredients that can cause your dog to have stomach issues. Some tooth pastes have a high level of sodium and others may contain xylitol which is toxic for dogs. Also, do not use baking soda to brush your dogs teeth with. It can upset the acid balance in your dogs stomach and cause further stomach issues. it also does not taste good and will cause your dog to not like getting their teeth brushed.
Pet toothpaste is available in many different flavors. Your dog will love the treat that actually helps their health and enjoy the experience. There is also pet mouth rinses that continue to help with good oral health and helps with doggy breath.
Your veterinarian should check your dogs mouth and teeth at every visit. Good oral health for your pet is a good way to keep them happy!