Why Dog Toothpaste is Essential for Pet Care

Dog toothpaste may seem like an extravagance. But your dog's teeth are prone to tooth decay. You may not be aware that tooth decay can lead to complications such as gingivitis, periodontitis, and fractured or broken teeth. Proper canine dental hygiene can preserve years of your dog's life, and save him a lot of pain and suffering.

Why Canine Dental Hygiene Is Important

Your dog can't brush his own teeth. But that doesn't mean that plaque and tartar won't build up on his teeth. It doesn't mean that he won't get cavities, or suffer from gum disease, abscesses, or the pain and inflammation associated with infected teeth.

These ailments can cause your dog a lot of pain and suffering. They can inhibit his ability to enjoy meals, and impact his overall health. Daily brushing with dog toothpaste is a necessary part of your dog's dental hygiene regimen, along with yearly veterinary dental exams and dental cleaning. Daily brushing can go a long way toward keeping your dog's teeth, and your dog, healthy.

Symptoms of Canine Dental Problems

Eighty percent of dogs over the age of three are suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis, both diseases of the gums caused by poor dental hygiene. These diseases can cause bone and tooth loss, as well as a great deal of pain for your dog. They can make it difficult for him to eat and lead to secondary infections as they can weaken his immune system.

Some symptoms of canine dental hygiene problems include:

  • Halitosis, or bad breath
  • Bloody saliva
  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Diminished appetite
  • Swollen, bleeding, or inflammed gums
  • Yellowish-brown tartar build-up along the gum line

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, he's probably suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis.

Preventing Dog Dental Problems

Dog toothpaste is a vital part of a preventative dental hygiene regimen. You might think that brushing your dog's teeth is too difficult, and it's true that it can take some time to accustom an adult dog to this practice. It's best to start when your dog is a puppy; he'll get used to having his teeth brushed much more quickly. But even if you have an adult dog, you can still begin a canine dental hygiene regimen.

Here are some simple tips to help you acclimate your dog to daily tooth brushing:

  • Briefly hold your dog's head and look into his mouth. Pull his lips back gently with your teeth. Do this often, perhaps several times a day, for some days until your dog is accustomed to it.
  • Once your dog is comfortable with letting you look into his mouth in this manner, begin massaging his gums gently with your fingers. Use circular motions. Increase the length of the massage as your dog becomes more comfortable with it.
  • Now, using the same technique, introduce a finger brush. You can buy one from your vet's office. Add a dab of dog toothpaste. You may want to allow your dog to lick the paste from the brush for a few days prior to actual brushing, so he can get used to the taste.
  • Be patient, be gentle, and reward your dog afterward.