Thursday, February 26, 2015

How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Did you know February is National Pet Dental Health Month?  Neither did I. So, before February ends, it seems a perfect time to share a post I had in draft showing how we keep our Schnauzer's teeth brushed and clean. Brushing a dog's teeth is much easier than I thought.

Keeping your dog's teeth brushed helps prevent plaque and tartar buildup just as it does for humans.
The same complications of dental problems that can lead to life-threatening infections in humans such as heart, liver, and kidney disease effects dogs as well.
Besides wanting my sweet Raider to be in good health, I really don't want to pay the costly fees to have a thorough dental cleaning by the veterinarian.   

Now, each evening, after his last meal of the day, Raider gets his teeth brushed.
It isn't as difficult as I thought it would be and he doesn't seem to mind at all, even though he looks less-than-pleased in the photo below  ;)
The hardest part is getting the fur around his mouth out of the way. 

We use a soft-bristle, child-size toothbrush and a toothpaste made especially for dogs.  I use a poultry flavor enzymatic toothpaste bought on-line. Avoid human toothpaste as it may be harmful to dogs. 
That distinctive bearded schnauzer snout is handsome but gets in the way when brushing his teeth.  Once we separate his beard and find his lips, sliding the toothbrush in and brushing his back molars isn't hard.

Raiders veterinarian said to concentrate on the teeth closest to his cheek and not so much on the inside where plaque and tartar are less likely to be a problem.

Even though Raider is 11-years old, he adapted quickly to this new experience.  Most dogs would benefit if tooth brushing began at an early age to help them get comfortable with someone poking around in their mouth, With a gradual introduction, an older pet can be encouraged to allow you to handle his muzzle and mouth and then move on to brushing his teeth. 

If your dog is reluctant, uncomfortable or frightened, the ASPCA has steps and tips to acclimate him and make the experience pleasant. 
All done!

5 comments:

Ann Thompson said...

Raider does look a bit grumpy in that one picture :)

Debby Ray said...

Boy, I would like to think I could get Hunter to allow me to do this without biting my hand off. He is 12 and is a grumpy, touchy old man some of the time. I used to be able to do anything to him. His breath is atrocious! Oscar, on the other hand would handle his just fine. Thanks for the tip!

CatTales said...

Thanks for the info and it's great to see handsome Raider!

Nonnie said...

I have been aware of this month for several years because we always have Trudy's teeth cleaned. Not this year, though. She is just too old for the anesthesia. I have tried to brush her teeth with no success. We have a Schnauzer, too. Love them.

Heather said...

Good tutorial! this is my least favorite chore :/ ~Heather

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