Dental care is an important part of a dog’s overall health – but it’s not always easy to do for many pet parents.
Some dogs really don’t like their mouths handled, and it’s almost impossible to stick a toothbrush in it. But there are many options, from dental wipes, gels and water additives to treats, powders and sprays.
Melissa Zangerle, VCA-licensed veterinary technician and regional technical director, says it’s normal for dogs to dislike brushing. She says common factors include dogs being head shy – meaning they may associate bringing their hands down from above towards their head with stress or discomfort – or they’re not used to being brush your teeth or look or touch your mouth.
The best way to brush your dog’s teeth
According to Melissa, the best way to brush a dog’s teeth is to use dog toothpaste (not including human toothpaste) and brush all surfaces of each tooth in a back-and-forth motion. . However, if this is not possible, as long as you are using dog toothpaste consistently (ideally once daily), it will still benefit your puppy’s teeth no matter what you use. Use your toothbrush or your finger. It is important to make your dog comfortable.
“The biggest tip is to get them used to brushing their teeth, in the hope that they’ll enjoy it eventually,” says Melissa. “The younger you can start this positive association, the better. This way, they will get used to touching their mouths and playing.”
Alternatives to dog toothbrushes
Debra Decker, marketing director of Pet King Brands, Inc.says there are many different types of dental products on the market such as toothpastes, water additives, sprays, dental wipes, treatment supplies and even diets to promote oral health. good.
“Brushing your dog’s teeth is the method that veterinarians recommend,” says Debra. “However, according to studies, such as one published by Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, only 2 percent of pet parents practice daily brushing care for their pets. This could be due to a hectic lifestyle, lack of pet adoption, or pet parents not being trained in the importance of daily oral care. “
She says that aside from an annual teeth cleaning by a veterinarian, establishing a consistent routine is best. For many people, that means finding a product or mix of products that is easy to use for both pets and their parents.
Popular brushing alternatives include:
- Water additives are just what they sound like – they’re added to the water, no need to put your hands in your mouth. Pet King brand Oratene brushless water additive and TropiClean’s Fresh Breath Certified Healthy Health Collection Oral Health Solution are a few examples.
- Dental spray requires some interaction with the dog’s mouth, but some dogs are tolerable with this as it is still quicker than brushing. The Oratene Enzymatic Brushless Breath Freshener is applied by spraying three pumps onto teeth, gums and cheeks as needed.
- Dental gel may be suitable for dogs who don’t like sprays and can also be used without brushing on some products. TropiClean’s Fresh Breath Certified Wellness Collection Vet Strength Gel Apply two drops of gel to each side of your dog’s mouth. When your dog licks his lips, this helps the gel coat their teeth and gums.
- Dental wipes can be helpful for dogs that don’t care about your fingers but still don’t want to use a toothbrush. Earthbath Toothpaste & Gum and Jax & Cali . Toothbrush Wipes Used by wrapping around your index finger and wiping teeth and gums.
- Dental powder like Swisscare’s ProDen PlaqueOff Can be used as a food supplement. The dietary supplement using the kelp ingredient, AN ProDen, organic, natural and sustainably harvested in the waters off the Scandinavian coast, contains no additives. The powder is sprinkled on your dog’s wet or dry food once a day, and results are usually seen in three to eight weeks.
- Dental treatment may be appropriate for dogs who don’t like adding anything to their food or water. There are many on the market. Switzerland also offers tooth bones, soft chews, crunchy bites and the new ProDen PlaqueOff System Comprehensive Soft Bite containing AN kelp
Debra from Pet King Brands says not having to brush your dog’s teeth makes it easier for pet parents to manage and for dogs to accept home dental care, which can increase consistency in the long run.
“When establishing a dental routine that can be followed, it is important not to rely solely on dental chewing,” says Debra. “Many pet parents love dental chews because they are easy to give and can be used as a bonus with dental benefits, but best if it’s not the only thing made for oral health of dogs. Taking a multi-pronged approach is often recommended by veterinarians”.
Proper dental care for dogs
While brushing is considered the best way to properly care for your dog’s teeth, it’s not always possible. Many helpful options for brushing a dog’s teeth are available to pet parents. Whatever you choose, do it daily and try to use a variety of methods that your dog will accept.