In this week’s article, we are going to talk about tips to help you improve the oral health of your pets. Preforming simple oral exams and brushing can save you lots of money on future dental care.
The best way to help your dog adjust to first time dental care is to train them slowly to become used to your touching on or near their mouth and face. Slowly and calmly begin to touch their face and mouth. If your dog becomes anxious or fights, stop the training. Do not push the issue if the dog becomes stressed. Try again tomorrow and within a few weeks, your dog will be ready for the next steps. Take the time to do this training and your dog will trust you. If not, the first time you examine your dog’s mouth, his mouth will shut and possibly not open for you again.
The next step is to do a visual examination of all your dog’s teeth. Make sure to look for any broken teeth, tartar building up or any particles stuck in between the teeth or gums. Gently lift the dog’s gums and inspect his teeth and gums. Make sure to do this visual inspection on a weekly basis.
When it comes to the actual brushing of your dog’s teeth, there are many products on the market for oral hygiene. There are toothpastes that have beef or even seafood flavor. Choose one and try it out on your dog by dabbing a bit on your finger and letting him taste it. After a few days, apply some paste to a brush. Do not hurry into his mouth to apply it right away. Let your dog lick it right off the brush for a few days.
Find the flavor you dog prefers and when he is ready for the brushing, take it slow and steady. Use small, circular motions for 10 to 15 seconds. You’re not trying to saw down a tree. If the animal starts to fight the brushing, back off and try again tomorrow. It’s all about going slow and steady. Train your dog to accept dental care. Don’t forget about positive reinforcements in the form of a treat. Let the dog expect a treat after his exam and brushing. Make dental care for your dog a matter of routine. Don’t give up! Try to do it every day. If not, at least every two or three days. At bare minimum, try for weekly.
Next week, we will be introducing our new monthly column, “Ask a Pro with Brandog”. We’ll search out dog pros far and wide to answer our reader’s burning questions. Don’t forget to stop by and check it out.
See you next time,