Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dental Hygiene for Dogs

Lacey has had some rather unpleasant breath lately, which has made me think a little more about dental hygiene for dogs, which has prompted me to do a post on how to take care of your dog's teeth:

Taking care of a dog's teeth:

Step #1:

Make sure they toys available for chewing, such as bones and rope toys. Bones help keep a dogs teeth clean and healthy, and rope toys help clean and floss their teeth.

Step #2:

Feed a good quality food. A food with all-natural healthy ingredients will help keep your dogs mouth healthy and keep their breath smelling better than a food with bad ingredients like by-products, and dyes.

Step #3:

If you are finding that your dog's teeth needs a little more help to stay as clean you would like, and their breath is not smelling so great, it might be time to pick up a toothbrush.

Here is how to properly brush a dog's teeth:

Step #1: 

Find a toothbrush and tooth paste meant for dogs. Toothpaste meant for humans is toxic if swallowed, and you can't teach your dog to spit, so you need specialized canine toothpaste.

Step #2:

Find a toothpaste with a flavor your dog will like such as peanut butter, or beef. This will make the experience more pleasant for your dog. Lacey loves the peanut butter flavor.

Step #3:

Find a dental kit that contains a toothbrush, and a finger toothbrush. This way you can see which one is easier for you and your dog. I prefer using the finger toothbrush, and Lacey likes that better too, but I like using the actual toothbrush to get at the teeth in the back of the mouth.

This is what the dog toothbrush looks like

This is a finger brush

Step #4: 

Now you can brush your dog's teeth. First let them taste the toothpaste, then if they like it you can put some on the brush (I recommend starting with a finger brush, most dogs prefer the feel of the finger brushes) and start gently brushing your dog's teeth.

Remember, with most dog toothpastes you don't need to use water or rinse their mouths, dog toothpastes are perfectly fine for the dog to swallow. 

Step #5:

Now you can decide how often you want to brush your dog's teeth. Most people do it every one or two weeks but you can do it daily if you wish.

Recommended brand:

I recommend using the Nylabone brand dental kit. Lacey seems to like it a lot, and it gets a lot of good reviews. It was also cheaper than some of the other brands I looked at, and the more expensive brands did not get as many good reviews.