San Diego Mobile Pet Grooming Blog
Your dog is a wonderful companion. They are always there when you need them, especially when it's time for snacks. Cooking and eating with your dog is an act of bonding, as they are forever ready to help you with tidbits, spills, and those delicious gristly bits of meat you don't care for. You never have to worry about mopping up a little slopped sauce and there's always someone available to lick the bowl when you're done. Even when you're not sharing people food, you make sure your dog eats their fill of healthy natural dog food and their fair share of treats for good behavior and a willingness to perform your favorite tricks.
In fact, a lot of your dog's favorite activities involve eating, but how often do you brush their teeth? You brush your own teeth at least once a day but imagine the silliness of a dog trying to hold a toothbrush. While it's true that a dog's teeth are quite sturdy, their gums can take significant damage from tartar build up and the last thing you want to see is dental discomfort from your food loving companion. You can do your dog a huge favor simply by brushing out the built-up tartar and massaging their gums about once a week, with delicious dentally beneficial chew snacks in between.
How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth
The way you brush your dog's teeth will depend a lot on your preferences and theirs. Some dogs are not at all comfortable with your fingers in their mouth and some couldn't care less. For brushing utensils, you can choose from a custom dog toothbrush, a soft children's toothbrush, a bit of gauze wrapped around your finger or a rubber finger-tip toothbrush.
For toothpaste, first and foremost never use human toothpaste. Your dog doesn't know not to swallow it and there are often a few extra ingredients like Xylitol that are bad for dogs. You can buy special dog-formula toothpaste, make your own with baking soda, salt, and water, or use a little virgin coconut oil which is antibacterial, antiviral, and dogs find it tasty.
Start by introducing your dog to the toothpaste by letting them lick a little off your finger, then apply to your tool of choice and gently massage their teeth and gums, trying to get all angles and down into the gums to clear tartar. Be patient with your dog if they fidget, this is as weird for them as it is for you, even if it's the best thing for them.
Natural Dental Chews
Tooth brushing or no, dental chews are still a great way to keep your dog's teeth at least moderately clean, but be careful which ones you choose. Commercial treats like Greenies contain inorganic materials that don't dissolve in the intestines which have caused dangerous problems for enough pets to warrant caution. Instead, vets recommend frozen marrow bones or deer antlers, which are naturally great for your dog's teeth and don't splinter like normal bones.
If your dog will eat raw vegetables (some do), whole carrots, celery, and apple slices are as good for their teeth as they are for yours. You can also pick up a few non-consumable dental toys from the pet store.
If you want to be enjoying steak and other treats with your dog well into their old age, it's important to start taking care of their teeth today. The occasional tooth brushing and a lot of tough, fibrous treats are the perfect way to keep those gums and pearly whites healthy for many years in the future. For more awesome tips on how to take the best possible care of your furry friends, contact us today!
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