Taking care of your dog's teeth is extremely important. Like humans, dogs can develop gingivitis and gum disease. In order to help your dog avoid the pain and possible life threatening infections that poor dental hygiene can cause, there are a few steps that you can take.
Brushing Your Dog's Teeth
When brushing your dog's teeth it is always best to use a toothbrush with a 45 degree angle, since this will help you to get into hard to reach areas in your dog's mouth. The best time to brush your dog's teeth is after they have had a lot of exercise. This is because your dog will most likely be tired and less inclined to erratic movements. When you first start brushing your dog's teeth you should begin slowly and watch for signs of agitation. If your dog becomes agitated then you should stop brushing and try to brush another area of the dog's mouth the next day. If you keep brushing every day, in time your dog will get used to having their teeth brushed.
Avoid Human Toothpaste
Toothpaste that is made for humans often contain fluoride. These toothpastes should not be used to brush your dog's teeth because fluoride is poisonous to dogs. Instead, you should visit a pet store and buy toothpaste that is specially designed for dogs.
Give Your Dog More Dry Food
If your dog is resisting brushing their teeth too often you can give them more dry food to make up for the lack of brushing. Try giving your dog lots of kibble. This is because kibble is less likely to stick to your dog's teeth than food that is soft. Food that is soft often sticks to your dog's teeth and this can lead to tooth decay if it is not removed regularly.
Give Your Dog Chewable Toys
Toys that can be chewed on are good for your dog's teeth. This is because they increase the amount of saliva in your dog's mouth. Saliva helps to clean the teeth and remineralize it at the same time. However, you should avoid chewable toys that are too hard, since these can crack your dog's teeth.
Taking care of your dog's teeth should be a high priority. You should begin taking care of your dog's teeth when they are very young. However, if your dog is older it is still not too late to start, since good dental hygiene will keep your adult dog in good health.
To learn more, contact an animal clinic like North Lexington Veterinary Clinic.