Dogs can suffer from periodontal disease, just like us, if preventative measures are not taken.
Tooth brushing, with animal toothpastes, is the best thing you can do and is not always as difficult as it sounds - especially if you start to do it at a young age. Not only will this help to keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy but also it should help to keep their breath pleasant!
We supply a range of products specifically designed for brushing animal teeth. If you cannot brush the teeth, we can recommend and supply other measures - including special diets.
Regular dental checks will allow us to determine if other dental treatment (e.g. scaling, polishing and extractions) are necessary.
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
Cleaning you puppy/dog's teeth is a daily commitment - it should be an enjoyable time with your dog but does need to approached slowly to enable your dog to become accustomed to the procedure. Give lots of praise as you go through the stages below.
Ensure you have the correct toothbrush and paste both of which should be designed for animal use. Human toothpastes aren't designed to be swallowed and are likely to upset your dog's stomach. Dog toothbrushes are smaller, softer and are a different shape. The size and type of toothbrush will depend on the size of your dog's mouth and the health of the gums. Finger brushes are available for smaller dogs. Either a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse will give guidance.
If your dog has periodontal disease, a specific toothpaste will be recommended.
How to Begin:
>>Choose a time when you are not rushed and both you and your puppy / dog are relaxed and your dog not overly playful. To get your dog used to having something in its mouth, begin by using an index finder and gently rub this along the gums of the top and bottom jaw on either side of the mouth. Keep this session short and praise your dog afterwards.
>>You can then use a little of the flavoured toothpaste. Let your dog lick the paste off your finger, which he will view as a treat. Again, praise your dog.
>>After a few days of this, you then introduce the toothbrush. Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to the brush pushing it down into the bristles. Allow your dog to lick the paste from the brush and in doing so get used to the texture of the bristles. Praise your dog.
>>When you begin to use the toothbrush and paste to actually clean the teeth, start by brushing one or both of the upper canines. These are the large ones towards the front on either side of the lower and upper jaw. It is the mechanical action of the brush on the teeth that is important: Always stand/sit to the side of your dog to reduce the risk of him moving forwards into the brush, which could cause damage to his mouth.
>>Similarly, the use of a gum massager, unless contraindicated, will provide benefit to the gums. Talk to your dog and praise him when you have finished.
>>When your dog accepts having several teeth brushed you can slowly increase the number you clean at each session.
Aim to brush your dog's teeth on a daily basis - once you get started, it will become part of your daily routine just as brushing your own teeth is.
Food has a direct impact on your dog's teeth. Studies have shown that feeding a dry diet will help prevent plaque accumulating on the teeth. Veterinary dentist- approved diets are available through our surgery. Avoid feeding sweet treats and human foods, as these will increase the build-up of plaque and tartar.
Dental treats are also available from the surgery for both puppies and adult dogs.