Yes, being able to take our dogs to a grooming salon makes our lives easier. Especially for those of us who have such busy schedules that we could hardly cook at home, let alone bathe a reluctant dog.
Also, let us admit it, grooming salons are better than us in making our pets look and smell like social media stars.
Nevertheless, we know that we are still responsible for our dogs’ oral hygiene. Our dogs’ teeth need regular cleaning, too, to keep them healthy and their breath fresher. Also, by taking care of our dogs’ oral health, we are able to save a lot of money from big expenses that a pet’s dental problems usually incur.
And you can easily squeeze this dog dental care into your routine by following these tips:
- Train your dog early, but do not rush. Dogs are not as natural as humans when it comes to oral hygiene. They do not open their mouth wide for the toothbrush; in fact, it may even scare them. Some dog owners opt to use a gauze pad that they wrap around their forefinger to gently clean their dogs’ teeth. This dental practice may need a little coaxing, but your dog will surely get familiar and comfortable with it as long as you do its teeth cleaning patiently and lovingly.
- Dental supplies. There are many options for tools to use in cleaning your dog’s teeth: gauze pad, baby toothbrush, finger toothbrush, or dog toothbrush. Starting with a gauze pad, especially if your dog is small or still very young, is a good choice since it’s soft and easier to navigate around your pet’s mouth. Once your pet is used to brushing, you can shift to a real dog toothbrush or a baby’s toothbrush, which has gentle bristles.
When it comes to toothpaste, you should never use toothpaste for humans when cleaning your dog’s teeth since fluoride is toxic to them. Always choose a dog toothpaste that’s not bubbly for your pet’s comfort and to make the brushing session less messy. You can also use a dental rinse, which you can add to your dog’s water.
- Develop a routine: same time, same place. Your dog can easily adopt the habit of cleaning its teeth if you do it in the same place, at the same hour. Ideally, you will want to brush your dog’s teeth every day, but doing it twice or thrice a week is fine as well.
You may use a dog toy to motivate your dog to get ready for its toothbrushing session, a toy that is specifically for this purpose. Place a little toothpaste on the toy so your dog will get familiar with its smell and taste as it holds the toy in its mouth. Also, you may opt to use a special towel where your dog can lie or sit while brushing — something that will make your pet pleasurably associate brushing with it.
- Time to clean your dog’s teeth properly. There are dogs that will willingly open their mouth upon seeing their toothbrush. Others may choose to have their dental toys while brushing. It’s easier with those dogs who are already cooperative. Those who want their dental toys still stuck in their mouth are still manageable. Just ready the gauze pad or toothbrush and hold your dog’s mouth gently and wipe. Don’t brush briskly, just wipe the external surface of the jaw and then the rest of the teeth. Sense if your dog is still at ease, and continue wiping. But do not force your dog just to finish the routine.
Let your pet become familiar with the dental practice. Soon, you can wipe all of its teeth properly once your dog is already used to the routine. And do not forget to reward your dog after each session so that it will always keep in mind that getting its teeth cleaned is good behavior.
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