Most dog bad breath has to do with plaque and tartar that have built up on their teeth. Decomposing food and the bacteria that help cause and also result from plaque cause the bad smell we think of as dog breath. Any dental problems that arise from bad teeth also contribute to those nasty smells.
Is this going to be a fun activity or what? Here are some tips for making the job of cleaning those canine teeth easier.
Doggie Toothpaste and Toothbrush | The Warm-Up
Don’t just leap into this, expecting your dog to welcome a full brushing the very first time. Plan to take a few days to get both you and your dog adjusted to his new dental routine. Always sit with him in a relaxed position, and the first time or two, just put something yummy on your finger and rub it on his teeth in the circular motion you’ll use when brushing his teeth.
Gradually introduce him to the toothpaste, and brush or sponge or finger pad. Let him check it out, rub and gently brush only a few of the easy teeth the first few times, eventually working up to his all of the teeth.
Be sure to praise him while you are working on him and maybe even give him a treat when you’re done. And make sure to end your session when you decide to, not when your dog wants to stop. Make it a fun time and both of you will enjoy it.
Dog Toothpaste and Other Equipment
Cleaning a dog’s teeth takes special canine dental equipment, not human brushes and toothpaste. Dogs toothbrushes are generally softer and may even have a sponge pad rather than bristles for dogs with very sensitive gums. The handles are usually longer and the bristle area may be smaller. For some dogs with sensitive gums or owners with arthritis, it may be easier to use a pad that fits over your finger than the traditional dog toothbrush.
Be sure to use a dog toothpaste. These don’t have foaming agents and can be swallowed, unlike human toothpaste. They also come in great flavors for dogs, like poultry. Mint and cinnamon just don’t do it for Spanky!
Basic Dog Tooth Brushing Technique
The basic technique for cleaning your dog’s teeth is very much like cleaning your own. Be gentle, move the brush in a circular motion, taking care to clean the gum line. The big difference is that you will have to lift up your dog’s lips to get to his teeth. Be sure to work on the back teeth where they have more problems with plaque and tartar build up. There are differences of opinion on how necessary it is to clean the inside surfaces of the teeth. Some experts say yes and some say no. You will have to make that decision on your own.
Canine Dental Care
It’s not difficult to take care of your dog’s teeth and at the same time keep bad dog breath at bay. Just the same as with human bad breath, you won’t cure it, but you will keep teeth healthy and breath fresh – or in your dog’s case, at least smelling like fresh poultry toothpaste.
For a good look at brushing dog teeth, check out the video on cleaning a dog’s teeth.