Dog Hygiene

Time to Brush Our Teeth

dog-brushingThose of you who have brushed your dog’s teeth raise your hands.  Just as I thought, not too many.

Why not?  They have teeth too and suffer from the same dental diseases and infections we do if we don’t brush regularly.

I have talked to many people I know who have dogs and when I casually ask if they brush their dogs teeth the first reactions is laughter.  No, I’m serious I say, and then they get to thinking, eventually coming up with answers like “I give my dog dental bones” or “the kibbles she eats are hard and crunchy and keep their teeth clean”

Did you know that over eighty percent of dogs over 3 years old suffer from Periodontal Disease?  In our terms that’s gum disease and as your dog gets older that eighty percent increases.  Gum disease leads to a host of problems most often resulting in rotting teeth which are terribly painful and beyond that, a dirty bacteria filled mouth can and does lead to other illnesses throughout the body.

So, as your dog gets older, they develop gum disease and their teeth begin to rot leaving them in great pain, but because a your dog wags his tail and has energy, you may never know just how much pain he/she is in.

My wife has taken on the job of brushing Sisko’s teeth and she has done it regularly since we first brought him home as a puppy.  She’s really good at it and so is he.  She calls him, toothbrush in hand and has him lay on his side.  She then brushes the ‘up side’ and the front, then flips him over onto his other side and then brushes that ‘up side.  Just like brushing our teeth only we stand up and do it ourselves.

We use dog toothpaste for two reasons; human toothpaste isn’t meant to swallow and of course your dog will swallow the toothpaste rather than spit like us so please use dog toothpaste.  The second reason is  that dog toothpaste also tastes really good to him, it’s brown sugar and vanilla flavored and he loves it.

Feeding your dog raw bones is another way to help keep your dogs teeth clean.  The ripping, tearing and crunching of their raw food scrapes tartar from teeth and massages gums. Meat, skin and connective tissue act as natural dental floss and believe it or not helps with better breath.

We all want our dog to live a long and healthy life with as little medical problems as possible and brushing his/her teeth is just another simple and logical way to enhance their life.