It is important for our pet’s to maintain good oral health to prevent gum disease and problems with their teeth. Alarmingly, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats suffer from some form of dental disease by the age of three.
There are 2 simple ways to maintain your pet’s oral health, the first is using Oral Wipes there are many options available to purchase and that we sell in the clinic. They are easy to use, a quick wipe over the teeth at regular intervals removes and reduces plaque build up. Our nurses can you show the process and advise you on how regularly to use.
Another great way is to introduce teeth brushing, although this may sound odd it, with some simple training your dog may find brushing their teeth a positive experience.
Start the training by choosing either a dog toothbrush and toothpaste kit or just use a kids soft bristled toothbrush and water. Show your dog their toothbrush and then give it a treat, do this every day for the first week. By the time you reach week 2, most dogs will see the toothbrush and it will trigger an understanding that a treat is coming. The toothbrush now means “treat”!
Once your dog is excited by seeing the toothbrush, touch it to your dog’s lips followed by a treat. Now your dog should be tolerating the touching of the toothbrush to the lips. If you are using dog toothpaste, you may like to let your dog have a sniff and taste of the paste. See if your dog will tolerate a gentle rub of the front teeth with the toothbrush followed immediately by a treat. By week four your dog should be tolerating the brush entering his mouth and allowing you to gently brush some teeth.
- Don’t rush
- Don’t try to brush the entire mouth
- Follow every session with a treat
Your dog will begin to understand that this is part of the daily routine and always leads to a desired food reward. Over time you may find you can give the whole mouth a good brush.
Initially focus on the incisors (small front teeth) and canines (large pointy teeth). The molars at the back of the mouth do get a workout with chewing. You can include the molars when the dog will allow.
If you can manage to brush your dog’s teeth THREE times per week it will reduce plaque by 75% and this will reduce tartar and subsequent periodontal disease.