How do I clean my dog's teeth at home?
Updated: Apr 30, 2020
Keeping your dog's teeth clean is important, as ignoring this can lead to plaque build-up and dental disease.
Dental disease is very common in dogs, second only to ear infections, and can be extremely uncomfortable - much like we would experience. To avoid expensive treatment costs check and clean your dog's teeth regularly as part of their grooming treatment.
Before you start cleaning your dog's teeth, it's always best to ask your vet to show you the best way to do this. Different breeds show varying jaw alignments and how the teeth meet. Brachycephalic dogs, like Pugs and Chihuahuas, have poorly aligned jaws with crowded or absent teeth; therefore are more likely to suffer from dental disease.
Start teeth cleaning when they're a puppy and brush their teeth everyday to get them used to it. If you haven't done this, then gradually introduce the activity by having your finger near their mouth. Maintain the habit and slowly introduce brushing until this is natural.
You'll need a to buy a dog toothpaste as human ones aren't suitable. A special dog toothbrush that goes over your finger is used to brush their teeth, but if you don't have this a child sized toothbrush is fine.
Keep brushing their teeth as part of a regular grooming routine.
How to recognise gum disease?
Dental disease can appear quite suddenly, or progress overtime and take months. Make sure you look out for these signs:
Deposits may build up on the teeth
Gums will be damaged and bleed
Mouth is infected which will give off a foul smell
Sensitive root of the tooth may be exposed and painful
Discoloured teeth that die and fall out
Your dog may also refuse food, have difficulty eating or leave flecks of blood in their bowls.
If your dog has any of these symptoms, please contact your vet.
For more information visit the RSPCA website: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/health/teeth