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How to Brush a Dog’s Teeth

By Gina Carey. April 13, 2012 | See Comments

How to Brush a Dog’s Teeth

Like humans, it is important to brush your dog's teeth on a regular basis in order to ensure proper oral health for years to come. Learn how to brush a dog's teeth here.

Brushing your dog’s teeth at least twice a week is vital to your pet’s oral health. Like humans, dogs can get cavities, plaque buildup, and gum disease. But unlike humans, dogs cannot use the typical toothpastes found at grocery and drug stores for their dental care.

Why Can't Dogs Use Human Toothpaste?

Human toothpaste is not edible, which is why we spit it out when we are through brushing our teeth. Since dogs cannot rinse and spit out toothpaste, they will swallow it. Ingredients in human toothpaste, like fluoride, can be toxic to dogs in large doses, so it is unsafe for them to ingest it.

What Kind of Toothpaste Is Safe for Dogs?

Specially formulated edible toothpaste for dogs is readily available through various pet care brands. This toothpaste does not foam like human toothpaste, but it has all the right ingredients to help fight tartar buildup and gum disease, which will in turn reduce bad breath.

Dog Toothpaste Flavors

To make tooth brushing a more pleasant experience, try to find toothpaste that your dog enjoys. Dog toothpaste can be found in a variety of flavors that appeal to canines, like beef, poultry, peanut, vanilla, mint, and seafood. If they are available, buy sample sizes of different flavors to test which one your dog prefers most.

Finding the Right Dog Toothpaste

You may not find the right dog toothpaste on your first try. Experiment with different brands, flavors, and types of toothpaste. When testing out types of toothpaste, you want to find a balance between what is pleasant for your dog, most effective in cleaning, and easy to use. Dog toothpaste comes in forms other than regular paste, such as liquid rinses, gels, and sprays to name a few. Some varieties of dog toothpaste contain grain alcohol to clean teeth, while others are enzymatic. Take a look at the ingredients list before purchasing if your dog has certain sensitivities, or if there are ingredients you wish to avoid.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by,your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.

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