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Dog Teeth Cleaning

Dog teeth cleaning may not have been the first thing that came to mind when you decided to adopt your furry friend. Many dog owners would be surprised to even hear dog teeth cleaning mentioned. But with an estimated 85% of dogs and cats developing dental disease by the time they’re 6 years old, dog teeth cleaning is more important than you may think.

Is dental disease in dogs a serious condition?

Absolutely. Dental disease is a painful condition that leads to tooth loss if left untreated. Tartar build-up and bad breath are signs that something more serious could be happening with your dog’s teeth and that they may require a trip to the vet for a professional cleaning.

How do dogs get dental disease?

Honestly, in much the same way that we humans do. If you don’t brush your teeth, eat the wrong foods, avoid trips to the dentist or are genetically predisposed, then you are highly likely to develop dental disease. The same is true for your dog. They need regular teeth cleaning, nutritious food and periodic check-ups with a professional to prevent dental disease.

How do I manage dog teeth cleaning at home?

The best way to look after your pet’s teeth is through daily dog teeth cleaning. We recommend starting this while your dog is still a puppy so that they can adjust to the routine. But if you’ve got an older dog, don’t despair – you can teach an old dog new tricks!

  • Step 1: Buy a toothbrush. No, not a human toothbrush. Brushes specifically designed for dogs will have softer bristles and be smaller. If you’re unsure of what size to get then ask your vet for suggestions.
  • Step 2: Get some dog toothpaste. NEVER use human toothpaste on your dog (these need to be spat out). Specialised dog toothpaste is available in a range of flavours and is designed to prevent tartar and plaque build-up in dogs.
  • Step 3: Introduce your dog to teeth cleaning. Start slowly, gently rubbing your dog’s muzzle with just your finger. After a few days, try doing the same along their teeth and gums. You want your dog to feel relaxed with you touching inside and outside their mouth. Be patient and move at a pace your dog is comfortable with.
  • Step 4: Let them try the meaty-tasting toothpaste. Put a little bit of toothpaste on the end of the toothbrush and let your dog lick it off. This helps them associate positive things with the toothbrush.
  • Step 5: Pick your time. This could be when you’re engaged in regular bonding activities with your dog, such as after a nice belly rub or at the end of a walk.
  • Step 6: Get brushing. Moving in small circles, work the toothbrush along your dog’s teeth. Start with the front teeth and, when you’re both a bit more comfortable, work your way to the back. Your goal with dog teeth cleaning is to cover the outside and inside of all the teeth, as well as along the gum line.
  • Step 7: Be regular. Ideally, you should be trying for daily dog teeth cleaning sessions that last about 2 minutes. End each session with a reward. The more regular you are, the healthier your pet’s teeth are likely to be.

Will my pet still need professional dog teeth cleaning?

We’ll check your dog’s teeth during their annual visit to see if there are any developing signs of dental disease. If your dog has visible signs of plaque or tartar, then they may need professional teeth cleaning,and dental radiographs performed while under anaesthetic.