Cleaner Paws is a mother-daughter run blog. Together we have over 40+ years of professional pet grooming experience and we hope to pass some of that on to our readers throughout our in-depth and non-bias reviews and buyers guides.
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This review guide was updated in December 2018.
Do You Need to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth?
Do I need to brush my dog’s teeth is a question we get asked a lot at Cleaner Paws, and we believe it is the one area of pet grooming that owners are most confused about.
There is just so much conflicting information out there it’s hard for even a professional to give an answer that works for all dog owners because the response is affected by many factors, including the breed of your dog and their diet.
A more natural question to ask is – How much do you love your dog’s doggy breath?
If your pet has breath that leaves your stomach turning and you dashing for the nearest toilet heaving in the process, then you may not be doing a great job looking after your dog’s dental hygiene.
Dogs, like humans, need their mouths cleaned regularly to keep them healthy.
Because of this, it’s imperative for you to learn how to brush your dog’s teeth correctly to keep them as healthy as possible.
You need to ensure proper oral care so your pet can grow old with all their teeth firmly intact.
Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly also means they have pleasant doggy breath every time they decide to slather you with wet, sloppy kisses.
So, let’s go into the details of how to give your dog’s teeth a real good clean.
First off, here’s a list of tools you’ll need to help you brush your dog’s mouth effectively:
You’ll need a toothbrush specially designed for dogs.
These toothbrushes feature medium strength, double bristles with brushes angled at a strict 45-degree angle.
These features help clean your dog’s teeth and gums effortlessly.
The tensile strength of the brushes is also the most comfortable for your dog’s mouth.
Next, you’ll need to choose the best toothpaste for your dog to help clean his canines.
Don’t use toothpaste made for humans as these are not properly formulated for your pet’s teeth.
This means they can cause more dental issues further down the line.
Last but not the least: you’ll need some chew toys as a reward that your dog can enjoy after.
Having these three essentials in your grooming kit is pretty much all it takes to care your dog’s dental health.
But, the challenges don’t stop there.
Brushing your dog’s teeth can be challenging since this is not a natural exercise dog’s would enjoy in the wild.
You’ll have to expect some struggle, and it isn’t uncommon for dogs to resist this strange sensation at first.
The proper motion to brush your dog’s teeth
There is also a prescribed way to brush your dog’s teeth properly.
Just like with humans, brush your dog’s teeth with an up and down motion from the upper gum line to the lower gum line.
This removes any food particles embedded in the spaces between your pet’s teeth as well as those trapped in between the teeth and the gums.
Start with one side of the jaw and work your way towards the other.
If your dog is already accustomed to this grooming ritual, open your dog’s mouth and clean the inner sides of their teeth.
Do this as quickly as you possibly can to avoid stressing your pet out.
Make sure you brush the roof of your dog’s mouth as food particles, as well as bacteria, can flourish there if left unattended.
Lastly, give your dog’s tongue a quick brush or two to remove any leftover food.
Make sure you keep your dog as calm as possible all throughout this session and give hem plenty of vocal praises and rewards.
How often should you brush your dog’s teeth?
There are different views on the regular schedules involved in brushing your dog’s teeth.
How often should you do it? Once a week? Three times a week?
Should it be a daily ritual?
According to some veterinarians, it is best to clean your dog’s teeth once every three days, and that is what we try to stick with as well.
Other Helpful Dog Teeth Cleaning Tips
Make sure you have your dog’s mouth and teeth checked out by your vet whenever you take them for a visit so you can get some extra professional help regarding the oral care you give to your dog.
Also, consider sticking to dry dog food instead of wet food to minimize the amount of cleaning needed per week.