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Learn To Brush Your Dog's Teeth

 by danielle on 16 Sep 2014 |
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Proper oral care is an important part of keeping your dog in tip-top shape.  Just like humans, brushing your dog’s teeth can be an excellent way to keep them gleaming and disease free.
Approximately 85% of dogs over five years of age are afflicted by periodontal disease. This condition develops when food particles and nasties like bacteria accumulate along the gum line and in soft deposits called plaque. With time, plaque transforms into tartar, which is rock hard and difficult to remove. Plaque has the effect of inflaming the gums and causing them to start to separate from the teeth allowing pockets of bacteria to form. Pain and abscesses may result, as well as a bacterial infection able to spread through the body and impact on the health of organs like the liver, heart and brain. Teeth brushing can help prevent issues such as these from developing and the practice should therefore be considered by all dog owners.
Dogs can be uncomfortable with teeth brushing, especially if they haven’t had their mouth handled much by their owners, and must be gradually introduced to the process if they display signs of distress.
At first, simply touching your dog’s mouth with your hands is ideal – lifting his or her gums, opening the jaws and so on. Continue this exercise until your dog expects it as part of everyday life and is quite relaxed with you fiddling around their muzzle.
Next it is time to introduce the brush. A number of different varieties of toothbrush are available, some of which look like human toothbrushes with handles and bristles, while others are fashioned from rubber which fit over the finger like a small glove. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste on the brush and gently brush a couple of teeth easy to reach such as the canines.
Note: human toothpaste should never be used for brushing dog’s teeth. Instead, especially formulated pastes can be purchased in flavours such as chicken and beef.
If your dog sits quietly praise them and reward with treats or a play session. With time, increase each dental session until your dog happily submits to having all their teeth scrubbed. Performed correctly, brushing will ensure your dog will have a bright, healthy smile for years to come.



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