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Brushing a dog’s teeth adds years to his life

Brushing a dog’s teeth adds years to his lifePet parents usually think  that  teaching a puppy to "sit" and  "stay"  is the most challenging part of "raising" a dog. But then the pup eventually needs to be groomed and the pet parent will find that it is  more difficult to teach a pup to sit still  when it is time to brush  his teeth.

Fear not, says, pethealthoxyfresh.com in “4 Foolproof Ways to Remove Plaque From Your Dog’s Teeth" as there are ways to make this part of the grooming process easier and even full of fun. 

Brushing a dog’s teeth adds years to his life

Plaques in dog’s teeth

How does plaque build up in a pet’s teeth?  Here is a simple explanation from pethealthoxyhealth.com.

“Every time your dog eats, sticky plaque forms on the teeth. As the plaque starts to ‘party’ with the salts found naturally in your dog’s saliva, it begins to harden into tartar.

Tartar leads to periodontal disease, where the gums start pulling away from the teeth, causing pain, inflammation, infection and even tooth loss.

Plaque can harden into tartar within approximately 36 hours. That’s why knowing how to remove plaque from your dog’s teeth each day is essential to your furry friend’s health and well-being.”

Reasons to remove plaque

1. Save money.

Once plaque hardens into tartar, you can not remove it anymore. You will need a vet to do it. “Tartar removal requires a professional cleaning at the vet where your pet is put under anesthesia,” pethealthoxyfresh.com says. This is rather expensive. In the Philippines, teeth cleaning in vet clinics is at least P3,500.00.

“That’s a lot of money for what could easily have been avoided in the first place!” pethealthoxyfresh.com says.

2. Get rid of bad breath.

Plaque is packed with bacteria which causes bad breath.

3. Your dog will live longer.

Keeping the teeth clean can add 2-5 years to a dog’s life and make his senior years happier.  Removing plaque is the best protection against periodontal disease.

How to remove plaque

1. Chewing on safe items

Chewing on items safe for your pooch will help scrape away and prevent plaque buildup.

Here are safe items you can give to your dog:

1.   Treats

There are plaque-fighting dog treats. The best treats have the Registered Seal by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).

2.   Toys

You can give rubber or nylon toys with a rough or bumpy surface  as these are good on a dog’s teeth and won’t cause fractures. Look for dog toys with one of the following labels: BPA-free, earth-friendly, or made in the U.S. from 100 per cent natural rubber.

3.   Raw Bones

“With their mild abrasiveness and ability to flex around the teeth, raw meaty bones can easily remove plaque and stimulate the gums,” pethealhoxyfresh.com says.  But, supervise your dog when you give him a bone. Never give cooked bone as this is softer and the dog might break it into pieces. The pieces might be swallowed by the dog and cause blockages inside the body. Cooked bones are more brittle and splinter easily.

2. Less table scraps means less plaque

Table food increases plaque buildup.

3. Brush the dog’s teeth

“To make dog tooth brushing as stress-free as possible for both of you, you’ll want to make sure you have a game plan, the right supplies and plenty of patience,” pethealthoxyfresh.com says. 

You will need:

1.   Toothpaste designed for dogs. Human toothpastes contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs.

2.   Toothbrush designed for dogs is best.  A dogs’ toothbrush have softer and denser bristles than human toothbrushes. For smaller dogs or puppies, you can buy e a finger brush or just use a piece of clean gauze.

Tooth brushing tips

  • Start at an early age. It is easier to train  them while young. You can start doing this at eight weeks of age.  
  • Get your dog used to you putting something in his mouth or rubbing something in it BEFORE you start brushing his teeth. Dip your finger in  food he likes like bone broth, then rub your finger on his gums.
  • Brushing a dog’s teeth takes time and patience. Brush a few teeth for a few seconds every day, until the pup or dog gets used to you brushing all his teeth.
  • Always praise your pet  while brushing his teeth and stay calm. Your dog will also be nervous if  he feels  your anxiety.
  • Choose the  time of day when your dog is  calm or relaxed, like after a vigorous  play session or a long walk.
  • Allow the dog  to sniff or lick the toothbrush and the toothpaste (a little only) to make him used to the texture and taste of the items.
  • Never stand above the dog as this will make him feel threatened. Kneel or sit right in front of  him or to the side of your dog. 
  • Put some toothpaste on the brush, place a hand over the top of your dog’s muzzle, then gently lift the lips.
  • Using the other hand, brush the teeth in a circular motion at a 45-degree angle. “Your dog can keep his jaws closed at this point; just focus on the outer surfaces of the teeth – this is where periodontal disease is most common. (Once your pet is used to tooth brushing, you can open the mouth and get the back teeth – about 5 seconds on each tooth is what you’ll aim for.)” says pethealthoxyfresh.com.
  • Give  him a treat after brushing his teeth even if the session did not go well. This will allow him to associate tooth brushing with something nice or positive.
Topics: “4 Foolproof Ways to Remove Plaque From Your Dog’s Teeth

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