Dog Video – How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

February is dog dental awareness month in the United States; a few months ago I explained how to brush your dog’s teeth, and how to select dental products for your dog.

It’s often easier to see how to do things rather than read about them so today I’ve posted a video in which Stanley Coren shows you how to get your dog used to having his teeth brushed – the key is to take it in small steps and have some great tasting toothpaste to hand!

At the end of the video Stanley Coren says you only need to brush your dog’s teeth once or twice a week in order to keep his teeth healthy. Whilst this is better than not brushing at all, ideally you should aim for a daily brushing to remove the plaque and remove the risk of your dog suffering periodontal disease.

Are Your Dog’s White Teeth a Ticking Time Bomb?

dogs-white-teeth

Anesthesia-free dental cleaning is increasingly being offered to dog owners as reliable treatment for [tag-tec]dog dental disease[/tag-tec] – unfortunately this is not case.

Although awareness of the importance of cleaning dog teeth is increasing, many owners are put off arranging a [tag]prophylaxis[/tag] (cleaning and polishing of a dog’s teeth by a vet) for their dog because the procedure requires anesthesia.

The people offering anesthesia-free dental cleaning are playing on this fear of anesthesia to promote their service, but what they offer is purely cosmetic and does not prevent dental disease – a prophylaxis as part of a dental care program does.

Anesthesia-free dental cleaning only involves removing plaque and tartar from the visible part of your dog’s teeth – it doesn’t touch the tartar that is below the gum line which, if it’s not removed, will develop into periodontal disease.

As discussed in an earlier post, dental disease is progressive, if it goes untreated for period of time you could be looking at multiple teeth extractions, abscesses, possible internal organ damage not to mention extreme discomfort for your dog.

This is why I call anethesia-free dental cleaning a time bomb – you are given a false sense of security that your dog’s teeth are healthy because they look nice and white, and his breath smells good; however, periodontal disease is quietly advancing below the gum line.

Anesthesia for pets does carry some risk, but it is a great deal safer than it was ten to twenty years ago, when stories about pets dying under anesthesia were sadly quite common.

Christine Keith has written an excellent article on why we should be wary of anesthesia-free dental cleaning as a way to treat dog dental disease and why procedures requiring anesthesia are now much less of a risk for our pets.

I recommend you read it.

How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

brushing-dogs-teethIdeally you should be cleaning your dog’s teeth on a daily basis, and at least every other day, in order to remove the plaque and prevent a build up of tartar on his teeth.

You will need to introduce tooth brushing gradually; deciding one day that your dog will have his cleaned and putting a toothbrush smeared with toothpaste into his mouth and start brushing is likely to leave you very frustrated, and you dog will be put him off for life!

I made the mistake of trying to do it too quickly, and had to start over again with the steps I outline below.

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Dog Dental Disease – starting a dental care program

dog-teeth-1Yesterday I mentioned how important it was to look after your [tag-ice]dog’s teeth [/tag-ice] and that a dental care program is essential in order to prevent dental disease – click here to read the post.

Dental disease is progressive, your dog won’t just have [tag]tartar[/tag] on his teeth, he will have tartar that progresses to [tag]periodontal disease[/tag]. Each progression of the disease will be more painful for your dog and more costly to treat, so starting regular dental care makes sense.

There are two parts to a dental care program – regular veterinary check-ups and home dental care.

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Dental Disease – why a dental care program is essential for your dog

brushing-teethHow often do you clean your teeth – I bet it’s at least once every day? Remember how awful it feels in the morning when you’ve forgotten to brush your teeth the night before – your teeth are coated in that horrid furry stuff and you’re paranoid your breath smells!

How often do you clean your dog’s teeth? Now, imagine how he feels every day.

Seriously, looking after your dog’s teeth is a very important part of your dog care regime. Studies have shown that by the time they are 3, 80% of dogs show signs of gum disease.

Dogs usually suffer in silence, so the symptoms to watch out for include:
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