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Live The Life

Tips for a happy, healthy, gorgeous little dog.

Get Holiday-Worthy Teeth

Monday, December 13, 2010
Get Holiday-Worthy Teeth
Your dog can have squeaky-clean teeth like this four-legged friend.

Those moments when you cuddle with your precious pooch are irreplaceable, especially during the holiday season! When you get up close and personal with your friend and you get a good look at his or her mouth, two things can happen – either you are pleased with what you see, or you know you need to get in there to improve his or her oral health. One way to help keep your dog's oral health in tip-top shape is to brush his or her teeth daily. Below, we've outlined how to successfully polish those pearly whites in time for the festive season upon us.

Let's face it – brushing your dog's teeth doesn't come naturally, but is a worthwhile investment. However, in order to help prevent gum and other oral diseases, it's important to clean your dog's teeth regularly. And the earlier you introduce the routine, the better. But, it’s never too late to start. With a little patience and encouragement, adult dogs can be eased into tooth brushing one step at a time.

Toothpastes for dogs

Toothpastes are available specifically for dogs, which can help make brushing an enjoyable experience for them. Of course, if it's a positive experience for your dog, it will be for you, too! Here are a couple of tips on getting the right toothpaste:

Tip 1: Don't use toothpaste for humans on dogs. It's too strong for dogs and the fluoride inside can make your friend sick if he or she ingests it.

Tip 2: Get dog toothpaste that is specially flavored and formulated for canine use.

Before you start, have your veterinarian check for gum disease so you're not causing your companion further pain. It's also a good idea to examine the inside of his or her mouth for bleeding and inflammation. If you notice anything unusual, be sure to ask your veterinarian for a thorough exam.

If the general condition of your dog's mouth looks healthy, follow these simple steps for sparkling teeth – and fresh breath. It may take about two months for your companion to accept brushing, so patience is important! The key is to be gentle, but make sure you go over the tooth surfaces thoroughly.

Step 1: Squeeze a tiny amount of special toothpaste for dogs onto a clean finger. Gently hold your dog's head and apply the toothpaste to its front teeth and gums. Speak some encouraging words as you do this to keep your friend calm.

Step 2: Once you have spread the toothpaste around in your dog's mouth, begin using a baby or small child's soft toothbrush on your friend's front teeth, using a gentle, downward motion when brushing the top front teeth and conversely, an upward motion when starting on the lower front teeth.

Step 3: Once your little friend becomes accustomed to the toothbrush, continue with the rest of its teeth, using the same motion on the top and bottom, both on the inside of the teeth and on the outside. To maintain good oral hygiene, ideally you should be brushing your companion's teeth on a daily basis. If this is not possible, aim to brush his or her teeth at least two to three times a week. You can also use specially formulated oral care snacks or dental chews as helpful products to complement your companion's oral care regime.

Good luck, and we wish your companion a sparkly smile for the upcoming season!

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