Caring for your dog’s teeth is more than just about keeping their breath pleasant and fresh. It is an incredibly important step for their overall health. Plaque can lead to periodontal disease, which, if left untreated, could lead to a variety of issues, including loss of teeth, severe pain and even a bacterial infection that can be spread through the blood to the kidneys, brain, liver or even heart. At Island Animal Hospital, we understand that it can sometimes be difficult to brush your dog’s teeth, which is why our animal dentistry experts have come up with this list of tips to make it easier for you:
- Choose the right tool- There are many options out there as far as animal oral care goes. You could choose a long handled doggy toothbrush, a small soft-bristled child’s toothbrush, a finger-brush or even just a square of gauze. Try these options with your pup, and find out which one works the best for you both! It can also help quite a bit to find a flavor of doggy toothpaste that your furry friend likes. They make all kinds of flavors that dogs can enjoy, including peanut butter!
- Don’t rush into anything- You don’t have to rush straight into brushing your dog’s teeth. Let your dog smell the toothbrush, finger-brush or gauze and taste the toothpaste before you get started.
- Make it positive- Dogs tend to learn more effectively with positive reinforcement. So, ensure that you associate dental care with something positive, like a tasty treat or a trip to the dog park.
Although at home dental care is important, in some cases it is easier said than done. If this is the case for you, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian for animal dentistry.