I will do a short series of videos on grooming your dog including teeth brushing, toenail trimming, ear cleaning and brushing.
This post focuses on what I consider one of the most overlooked aspects of dog grooming, brushing your dog’s teeth. Dog suffer from tooth and gum disorders more than humans because of two factors,
- Their diet
- The lack of attention we pay to cleaning their teeth.
This most often affects dogs who are fed a commercial / kibble type diet. These foods tend to stick to your dog’s teeth and cause plaque and decay. Dogs fed natural / raw diets usually don’t have as much of an issue. However, I still recommend that you pay attention to your dog’s oral hygiene and brush their teeth.
To get started you need to use a dog toothbrush, I recommend this because the shape makes it easier for you to position it in the dog’s mouth for proper cleaning. You can get them at any pet supply store or order them online. Secondly you need a good quality, natural toothpaste. There are also many option to make your own toothpaste, a quick search on Google will pull up several. Either way, use a natural ingredient toothpaste, and DO NOT use human tooth paste on dogs!
Before you begin “brushing,” get your dog used to the process by putting some toothpaste on your finger and letting your dog lick it off, then proceed to rubbing your finger on your dog’s teeth in a brushing manner. Next you can put some toothpaste on the toothbrush and repeat the same process. Once your dog is used to this you can begin brushing. This should only take a few minutes, but with some dogs it may take a day or two. Either way, make the process an enjoyable one for your dog.
When brushing your dog’s teeth pay particular attention to your dog’s back teeth and the inside and outside of the teeth, that is to say the side facing the outside and the side facing inside. Most tooth issues occur on back teeth because they are overlooked in cleaning and harder to get to. Once your dog gets used to it, he’ll enjoy having his teeth brushed, I promise.
Also, be aware that giving your dog things to chew that will naturally clean his teeth will be a big help, these include turkey necks, raw bones and raw food.
I recommend a regular schedule of brushing your dog’s teeth, at least a few times a week!