There was a time when pet parents never even thought of brushing their dog’s teeth and didn’t have to find the best dog toothpaste on the market; however, times have changed and veterinarians are now encouraging us to do daily dental care on our pooches.
If you’ve never embarked on doggy dental, don’t panic. We’ve uncovered some great information on why brushing our canine’s teeth is important, tips to good doggy dental care and those
common mistakes most pet parents make when embarking on canine teeth brushing. Plus, we’ve found some of the best dog toothpaste on the market today. Let’s get tooth-it!
The Benefits of Daily Canine Teeth Brushing
Just like people, dogs can suffer from certain oral issues. These can include gum disease, plaque buildup, bad breath, broken teeth and even infections. A daily routine of teeth brushing can help prevent many of these issues. In fact, dogs can be showing signs of periodontal disease (gum disease) by the time they reach three years-of-age. This can put them at a higher risk of chronic kidney, heart and liver problems.
Additionally, you may not know if your dog is having any pain related to poor oral health. Many dogs will continue to eat and drink normally even though their mouths are aching. It’s only when the problem has become worse, which could include abscesses and gum disease, that we as pet parents know something is wrong.
Don’t let that happen.
Tips on Doggy Dental Care
Giving your dog the best oral care you can doesn’t have to be difficult. Along with getting the best dog toothpaste, we suggest the following tips to help you along the way.
1. Start with your dog as a Puppy. Like any other habit or training you want your dog to have, starting him out with teeth brushing as a pup is the best way. This not only gets your dog used to this daily task, but his oral care will benefit from the early start, too. However, that’s not to say older dog’s can’t adapt to teeth brushing, it just takes patience and practice. Stick to it.
2. Use Doggy Toothpaste. Human toothpaste is not recommended for dogs. It contains fluorides and detergents that are not healthy for a dog to swallow. Some brands of toothpaste also contain xylitol which can be toxic to dogs. In addition, doggy toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors (seafood, malt, beef, vanilla-mint, peanut butter and poultry) that makes it more appealing.
3. Use a Doggy Toothbrush. Human toothbrushes are too wide and the bristles are too hard to safely use in a dog’s mouth. For these reasons it’s best to choose a toothbrush made specifically for them. These can include power brushes, finger brushes (that fit over the top portion of your finger) and small-head toothbrushes with long handles. However, it’s not recommended to use the finger-style toothbrush in small dogs, as their mouth is usually too small to fit the thickness of the tool. If you need help determining the correct toothbrush for your canine companion, ask your vet for recommendations.
4. Start Off Slowly. Getting your pup used to having his teeth brushed is a process, so start off slowly and gently. Remember, it may take a couple of months before your dog likes (or at least tolerates) his daily dental care. To get there, follow these helpful tips.
- Let your dog lick the toothpaste from the toothbrush. As long as you purchase any of the best dog toothpaste that we recommend, it will be save for them to do so
- Touch the toothbrush to your dog’s teeth. Let he or she get used to the idea and the feeling of the brush near their face
- Brush gently for a few seconds. This will help ease them into the habit without making them feel as though you’re hurting them
- Once your dog is accepting of getting his teeth brushed, raise up his lips to expose the teeth and gums
- Brush from the gum line to the tip of the tooth
- Never put the brush directly into your dog’s mouth as this can create panic in your pet and could end up endangering your dog or you
5. Don’t Forget the Back Teeth. A lot of dental problems occur in the back, upper teeth of dogs, so be sure to get back there to keep your canine’s mouth healthy. You wouldn’t want to have that gritty feeling on the back of your teeth after a long brush and we’re sure your dog wouldn’t either, so do it right!
6. Make It Fun. Praise and rewards go a long way when trying to teach your dog any new habit. Vets recommend praising your dog before, during and after brushing his teeth. Once you’re finished, give him some extra play time or a teeth-friendly treat.
Avoid These Common Mistakes When Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
It’s always good to know what not to do, as well as what to do. Here are three common mistakes pet parents make when em”bark”ing on doggy dental care. Hopefully, knowing these common dog parent mistakes will help you avoid them yourself.
- Don’t force your dog’s mouth open. The natural instinct of any animal is to fight the action of forcing its mouth open (and it’s probably your reaction too). Correctly brushing your dog’s teeth only requires you to lift its lips
- Get a professional cleaning first. This may seem counterproductive to doing the task yourself, but it’s important to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned before you start the daily routine. This ensures there will be no bacteria being pushed into your pet’s blood stream
- Don’t scrub. Remember your pup’s gums can be damaged by too forceful of an action. Brush gently to keep your dog’s mouth healthy
The Best Dog Toothpaste on the Market Today
Now that we’ve covered the why, when and what-not’s of doggy teeth brushing, let’s take a look at the best dog toothpaste on the market today.
By the makers of many quality products, the Arm & Hammer company has now formulated an advanced care enzymatic toothpaste for dogs. This doggy toothpaste uses the power of baking soda to fight those stubborn stains on your dog’s teeth, as well as fights bacteria that gives your pet that smelly breath. The poultry flavor is sure to draw your dog to the paste while your gently scrub those canine teeth clean. Get yours here
Another enzymatic product, Vet’s Best Gel dog toothpaste, uses natural ingredients to fight tartar, plaque and bad breath. In addition, it also helps support healthy gums along with a bright “smile.” It uses a mixture of neem oil, grapefruit seed extract, aloe and natural enzymes which also provide antifungal and antibacterial protection. Plus, this simple-to-apply gel now comes in an easy-squeeze 3.5 oz tube. Get yours here
Vet-recommended Nylabone Advanced Oral Care is made with Denta-C, which has been proven to reduce plaque buildup and the bacteria that is found there. It is flavored with popular peanut butter to get your dog interested in his dental care. Plus, this comes as a kit that includes a 2.5 oz tube of toothpaste, a finger toothbrush and a long, angled-neck brush with nylon bristles. This kit is recommended for adult dogs to help reduce the risk of oral issues. Get yours here
This beef flavored pet toothpaste works to fight tooth decay, bad breath, plaque and tartar buildups. Its enzymatic action is an organic way to clean your dog’s teeth, while protecting the gums from harmful bacteria. The OxGord toothpaste will also strengthen and whiten teeth and includes a soft bristled toothbrush, plus a finger brush for hard-to-reach areas. The company also offers a 100% no questions asked money back guarantee. Get yours here
The Sentry company is getting plenty of “paw shakes” for their Petrodex Dental Care Kit. Made for adult dogs, this toothpaste has double the action of other doggy dental products. The poultry fresh-mint flavor is sure to please your pooch while the toothpaste whisks away the plaque and tartar buildup. Sentry Petrodex also has their patent pending odor neutralizing technology, which will immediately help eliminate that doggy breath. In addition, this kit also includes a 360 degree toothbrush head with gentle bristles to protect your pet’s gum from damage and an ergonomic dual-texture handle for a solid grip. Plus, it also has a rubber finger scrubber for those hard-to-reach areas. Get yours here
Use the Best Dog Toothpaste For Your Pet’s Health
Now that we know just how important good oral care is for our pets, make brushing your dog’s teeth a daily routine. Choose the toothpaste and brush that works best for your pet to make this task an enjoyable experience that helps keep your dog happy and healthy for many years to come. It may not make a difference in the short term, but over the long term it will be well worth it!
Let us know what you think in the comments section!