Is your precious pooch joining you in the bathroom sink each day when you brush your teeth? If so, you may want to think about having him or her learn the proper technique to keeping teeth clean – with your help, of course. Cleaning a dog’s teeth is just as essential to the pet’s health as a nutritious diet, grooming and regular exercise. According to the American Kennel Club, keeping a dog’s teeth clean comes down to a few basic steps.
· Brush teeth. Teeth brushing is the foundation of good oral health. Brush a dog’s teeth at least once a week or more frequently. Use toothpaste specifically designed for dogs. Never use toothpaste made for humans.
· Offer dental chews. Rely on a dog’s natural inclination to chew with treats that also clean the teeth. Chews are designed to minimize the buildup of plaque.
· Use special oral sprays: Investigate dog dental sprays that kill bacteria that can make a dog’s breath smell bad and contribute to tartar and plaque.
· Provide plenty of chew toys. In addition to dental chews, regular chew toys also scour the teeth and improve oral health. Rotate several toys to prevent boredom.
· Schedule professional cleanings. Dogs need dental cleanings and examinations at least every year. Some dogs are more susceptible to periodontal disease and will require more frequent cleanings. Consult a vet.
It may take some time for dogs to get acclimated to having their mouths handled and their teeth brushed, but over time they can grow accustomed to the process. Some dogs may even enjoy it.
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