Humans and dogs are no different when it comes to the importance of good oral hygiene. Clean teeth, no plaque and tartar and good smelling breath are just some of the things to consider.

Commitment

Most people don’t understand that you should brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. Your personal home life will determine the timeline and commitment to your best friend’s oral hygiene. This will be very helpful and healthful in preventing dental issues for your dog.

You could set a schedule for a daily brush, every other day, twice a week or even once a month. I don’t suggest going longer than that for the health of your dog.

The idea is to set a commitment and stick to it. Even write it on your calendar, if that helps. The investment you make for your dog’s oral hygiene will be good for both of you. They get a healthy mouth and you don’t have to foot the bills for infections or gum disease.

Bacteria

Plaque and tarter on the teeth contain about 80% bacteria. 80%! Yes, that’s a high percentage. Bacteria could damage your dog’s gums, jaw bone and all the connectors that hold the teeth in place.

If not looked after, severe cases can move to the bloodstream where the kidneys, lungs and heart could be affected. Not to mention the pain that goes along with advanced cases.

Cleaning

When cleaning your dog’s teeth, please, please, please do not use human toothpaste. There are dog specific products on the market. Do both of you a favor by purchasing one of those.

For the first cleaning, use just your clean finger with a little “product” on it and let your dog lick it off. You can try to skim the teeth with your finger, but this may cause apprehension the first couple of times.

After a couple of sessions with just your finger, introduce a toothbrush with the product and let them lick it off that. Again, you can try a couple of swipes but go easy.

In a few days, start using the brush on the teeth and gums and you will be on your way. Make sure to get both teeth and gums.

If your dog doesn’t seem to be able to do this, go ahead and purchase a pet safe dental wipe and just wrap it around your finger. This may be more acceptable for your dog.

There are also oral sprays if they do not like anything in their mouth. But if they are truly not having any of it, it may be time to call in the professionals and book a dental appointment with your vet.

Food

As with humans, foods can have a positive or negative effect on overall oral hygiene for dogs. Try and stick with products that are specifically made for dogs. Limit human food as much as possible.

You could also add coconut oil into your dogs diet to help with overall health.

How does your dog react to oral hygiene? Leave your comments below.

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