Did you know that puppy grooming goes beyond stylish hair and cute bows? Keeping your furry friend in tip-top shape usually includes their pearly whites—and how much you’re willing to invest in their dental health! Unfortunately, many puppy parents don’t know the dangers of dental disease in dogs until it’s too late. According to VCA […]
Did you know that puppy grooming goes beyond stylish hair and cute bows? Keeping your furry friend in tip-top shape usually includes their pearly whites—and how much you’re willing to invest in their dental health! Unfortunately, many puppy parents don’t know the dangers of dental disease in dogs until it’s too late. According to VCA Hospitals, as many as 80% of dogs over the age of three have some form of dental disease. If left untreated, dental plaque and bacteria will continue to build up over time, leading to serious dental problems. This includes loose teeth, abnormal chewing, tooth abscess, malformation, and even tooth loss.
Your furry friend deserves to have healthy teeth. The best way to ensure your puppy’s teeth stay pearly white is to brush them regularly. Even if your puppy still has milk teeth, it’s important to begin as soon as possible. That way, once those baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth, they’ll be accustomed to tooth brushing.
Follow the next steps to brush your puppy’s teeth:
Puppies are creatures of habit. The only way to get them used to a dental routine is to start gradually. Grab a toothbrush that’s designed specifically for dogs only. Human toothbrushes may not be able to reach the back of their mouth. Let them sniff and check out their toothbrush. After they’re acquainted with their toothbrush, open their mouth and gently rub their teeth in slow circular motions. You can use your finger if you don’t want to use their toothbrush. When you’re finished, make sure to give them a treat or praise them for their good behavior. If your puppy shows distress, stop and try again a few minutes later. What’s important is to ensure that your furry friend is comfortable and relaxed during their toothbrushing session.
Your puppy will likely not open their mouths on command. Therefore, to encourage your fur-baby to show off those teeth, use their favorite chew toy or treat! All you need to do is show them the object. You can squeeze it a few times if it gets their attention. When your fur-baby starts to bite the object, grab their muzzle as gently as you can. You can let go once you’ve touched your puppy’s muzzle. Repeat this a few times so that your furry friend grows accustomed to having their mouth touched and handled.
In order to fully clean your puppy’s teeth, start by brushing at the front of your puppy’s mouth. Be as gentle as possible. Use small circular motions while moving throughout the mouth. You should only move towards the back of the mouth once you have thoroughly cleaned the front. Don’t forget to brush the inside part of your furry friend’s teeth as it can also build up debris and bacteria. If your puppy squirms or tries to close its mouth, stop for a few minutes and start again. We recommend practicing the first step on this list a few times to help your puppy get used to having their mouth touched and cleaned.
After you finish brushing your teeth, give your puppy a big kiss and some yummy treats. Toothbrushing is incredibly stressful so giving them a treat will help them associate their dental care routine with positive emotions. Of course, don’t forget to make the toothbrushing experience a pleasant one for your puppy. Use your finger toothbrushes or wrap a damp cloth around your fingers to scrub their teeth. Most importantly, make sure to brush your puppy’s teeth two to three times a week so that your fur-baby’s teeth are always pearly white!
At Petland, we highly recommend taking your furry friend to the vet for a dental exam at least twice a year to ensure their teeth are healthy. Your puppy also needs to have a professional tooth cleaning annually by a licensed veterinarian. By maintaining a consistent dental care routine and annual vet exams, you will help your puppy lead a healthy, fulfilling life!