How Often Should you Brush a Dog’s Teeth?
Many canine owners are surprised when they find out that tooth brushing is an essential part of their pet’s care. While you can take your pooch to our veterinary dentist for a high-grade clean, this type of clean should only be performed once or twice a year. This is because professional cleans are usually performed while your dog is under a general anesthetic. This means that she is completely unconscious, and so our veterinary dentist will have full access to her mouth and will not need to worry about her moving around or closing her jaws during the clean. However, the use of general anesthetic, which does increase the safety of the procedure, means that professional cleans can only be done occasionally.
Daily dental care is your responsibility
In between these appointments, it is essential that you take control of the day to day care of your dog’s teeth. This is because the bacteria that cause plaque and periodontal disease is transferred on to her teeth daily from the food that she eats. Failing to brush them clean means that bacteria can accumulate, and plaque and then tartar will form before your dog’s next professional clean, and irreversible damage may occur.
In addition to decay, pain and loss of tooth function, bad oral health can also cause your dog to develop periodontal disease. This extremely common condition is estimated to affect as many as 70% of canines before their third birthday and is caused when the bacteria that accumulates on your pet’s teeth spreads below the gum, causing infection. Studies have shown that periodontal disease can cause your dog to experience a range of painful and debilitating problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and issues with kidney and liver function. In some instances, your pet may also be at greater risk of developing oral cancer.
How often should you brush your dog’s teeth?
Veterinary experts recommend that much like humans, daily brushing is best where possible. This helps to ensure that all bacteria are removed from the teeth of your furbaby before any damage can be caused. However, if your dog is not used to having her teeth brushed, it can take some time for her to get used to the process. Some brushing is better than none at all, so even starting with once a week will be beneficial to her oral health. However, as she becomes more tolerant of the process you will hopefully be able to work your way up to daily brushing.
If you have a new puppy, you should introduce brushing as soon as she reaches six or eight weeks of age and before she becomes too way of new things. This way, it will very quickly become a part of her daily routine.
Don’t forget, human toothpaste are not safe for canine consumption, and even a small amount can make your furbaby seriously unwell. Opt for a tasty, veterinarian-approved variety instead and your dog will quickly start viewing brushing as an enjoyable experience.
If you would like further information about brushing your dog’s teeth, our friendly team would be happy to help. Please contact them today and let us support you in keeping your dog’s teeth as healthy as they can be.