Palm Harbor Veterinarian Gives Advice on How To Clean Your Dog’s Teeth
Hello, Dr. Al Paredes here. Today I want to give pet owners some advice on how to clean their dog’s teeth.
At our veterinary clinic, the Day and Evening Pet Clinic in Palm Harbor, Florida, One of the things that we pride ourselves on is taking care of your pet’s dental needs. This is one of the first things that we check when we see pets in our clinic. I’ve noticed over the years that if a pet’s teeth and gums are healthy; their overall general health is good as well.
It’s not well known, but dental disease in one form or another will strike almost 80% of dogs and cats when they are over the age of 3. In fact, dental disease is one of the most common disorders in dogs. So if you really want to take care of your dog or cat, you should get professional veterinary dental care advice and ask your veterinarian what you can do at home with tooth brushing for your pet.
This will ensure good oral health for your pets for all the years of their life.
Teeth brushing helps remove bacteria left behind after a dog eats. If this is left to build up, it can form a plaque on the gum line, which can lead to tarter, and in severe cases this will cause painful periodontal disease.
How do you brush your dog’s teeth?
With you hand, pull back your dog’s lips and examine your dog’s teeth and gums. If their gums are inflamed, recessed, or bleed easily when rubbed, you should see a veterinarian right away for a professional assessment and cleaning before attempting to brush your pet’s teeth yourself.
Now if you choose to brush your dog’s teeth yourself you will need a brand of pet toothpaste which tastes good to your pet. Make sure you don’t use human toothpaste for your pet because this can upset your pet’s stomach. Other things you will need will be a dog toothbrush and have on hand some special treats to reward them.
Place a small amount of dog toothpaste on your finger and let your dog licked the toothpaste from your finger. Do this step several days in a row so your dog gets used to the taste of the toothpaste. After they finish licking the toothpaste, give them lots of praise and a treat as a reward.
Next place some of the dog’s toothpaste on the canine teeth. This way your dog will get used to having something placed against their teeth and gums. Again do this for several days and follow this action up with a treat and lots of praise.
In this step you will gradually introduce the tooth brush you will be using for regular brushing. To do this, place the brush with the toothpaste on it up to your dog’s mouth and allow your pet to lick it from the brush. It will get your pet used to the texture of the bristles on the toothbrush and having the toothbrush near his tooth and gums. Again praise and reward your dog and repeat this step for several days.
In this final step you will now brush and clean your dog’s teeth. To do this, gently hold back your pet’s lips with your one hand and hold the brush and a 45 degree angle to the gum line with your other hand. With the brush, press gently on the outside of the tooth while moving the brush gently back and forth. Naturally, talk your dog in a soothing voice while you’re doing this. You may want to just brush a few teeth at the front of the dog’s mouth the first time for a short time, and then gradually lengthen the session each time until you’re brushing all the teeth. Again, when you are finished be sure to reward him with treats and lots of praise. This is a good way to help your pet associate brushing as a positive and rewarding experience.
Ideally you should brush your pet’s teeth every day, but do it at least a few times per week to ensure healthy teeth for your pet.
When you do this, it will go a long way toward preventing plaque buildup and periodontal disease.
If you are not sure about how to go about this, be sure to contact the veterinarian, Dr. Al Paredes at the Day and Evening Pet Clinic in Palm Harbor, Florida.
To get more details about what we can do for your pets and their dental care, see the resource box at the bottom of this article for our special offer for a dental cleaning for your pet, our phone number and directions to our office. I always look forward to helping your pets!
Wishing your pet the best of health,
Dr. Al Paredes
Veterinarian – Palm Harbor, Florida