Seven Tips for Better Dog Teeth Cleaning

Dog teeth cleaning is an important part of keeping her healthy. Canine teeth cleaning can be safe and effective if you have the right dog dental care supplies. Here are some tips for effectively brushing your dog's teeth.

1. Start Early

The younger your dog is when you start brushing her teeth, the easier it will be as she gets older. Start a teeth cleaning regime when you first adopt your dog. It will become a pleasant part of the relationship.

2. Look At Your Dog's Teeth Before You Brush

Looking at your dog's teeth will keep you aware of any dental problems. Gently pull back her lips to see her teeth. Check for cracked teeth, red or swollen gums, or tartar buildup and stains.

3. Hard Treats and Chew Toys

Anything your dog has to chew or that scrapes against her teeth will help keep the teeth and gums clean. Put your dog's food in a hard cong and play tug of war with the cong or a sturdy rope whenever possible. Supplement the diet with raw bones and hard treats that are aimed at keeping the teeth and gums clean and give them a good workout. Be sure to monitor your dog with any chew toy to make sure it is sturdy enough for her to use safely.

4. Purchase and Maintain a Good Dog Toothbrush

The right toothbrush for your dog will maximize your ability to clean her teeth effectively. Find one that is the proper size for her mouth. See if she prefers the brush that fits over your finger or the brush that looks like a regular toothbrush. Replace the toothbrush as often as you would your own, or whenever it looks worn or bristles are missing.

5. Canine Toothpaste

Dogs can only tolerate dog toothpaste which comes in several flavors. See if the pet store will give you some small samples. Put a small amount of the toothpaste on your finger and let your dog lick it off. She'll show you which one she likes best. An enzymatic toothpaste works the best.

6. Ease Into Teeth Cleaning

Go slowly when introducing dog teeth cleaning, so that she will have positive associations to the experience. Show your dog the motion of brushing teeth with your finger and speak in your happy voice so she's unafraid. Avoid restraining your dog more than you need to. Usually just holding her lightly by the scruff or even just resting your hand on her head while saying, "stay" will suffice.

Start by gently making a brushing motion on the outside of your dog's mouth with your finger for 30 seconds. Reward with a treat. Then use your fingers on the teeth for a few seconds, and again, reward with a treat. Slowly introduce the toothbrush with the toothpaste and perhaps a bit of juice from meat on it. Reward with treats, praise and play after each brushing.

7. Maintain a Consistent Teeth Cleaning Schedule

Brush your dog's teeth with consistent habits on a regular schedule. Daily brushing is best to keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy.