Should you Brush your Dog’s Teeth?

Why you should consider brushing your dog’s teeth

Brushing your dog’s teeth is as important for their oral hygiene as brushing is to ours. We brush twice a day, every day, and pay regular visits to the dentist. But, have you ever thought about your dog’s dental hygiene? Brushing your dog’s teeth is a great way to keep their smile healthy and bright.
Plaque and tartar can build up in our pet’s mouths the same way that it does in our own, causing dental problems like inflamed gums, bad breath, and tooth decay. Dr Adam Sternberg, Veterinary Director at Greencross Vets Brookvale, advises brushing your dog’s teeth to help them maintain a healthy
smile.
Dr Adam believes owners find it difficult to allocate the time with busy lifestyles and schedules, while others struggle with the concept of putting their fingers in a dog or cat’s mouth. However, he recommends daily brushing, with twice a day being the ‘gold standard’.
‘We have clients who are very proud of brushing their dog’s teeth once a month, and although that’s good, it’s probably not going to be good enough,’ he cautions.
He also says that beginning the practice when your pet is young is important. Brushing the teeth of a pet who is otherwise not used to this practice can prove difficult.

Selecting a toothbrush

  • specially-made dog toothbrushes are available to purchase
  • toddler toothbrushes are great for smaller dogs
  • ensure you clearly label your pet’s toothbrush and keep it separate from the family toothbrushes

Selecting a toothpaste

Dr Adam says that ‘human toothpaste is not suitable for animals. The fluoride is toxic to them. Special animal toothpastes are available and highly effective.’

  • do not use human toothpaste for pets
  • special pet toothpastes in flavours like chicken or beef are available
 Begin a teeth-brushing regime for your pet to help maintain their oral and overall health and wellbeing.