As you may know, brushing your dog’s teeth is imperative to keeping up with your dog’s dental health. It can be difficult to determine how often you should brush your dog’s teeth as each dog differs in the amount they chew, the food they eat, and their genetic makeup. Considering all of these factors will help you determine what works for you and if all else fails, consult with your veterinarian about their dental health.
When deciding how often to brush your dog’s teeth, you should keep in mind that it is optimal to brush them at least three times per week, if not more. As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that you brush your dog’s teeth daily as this will best prevent the build-up of plaque.
Now, daily brushing may sound like an unattainable goal for most owners, as most dogs have not had their teeth brushed before. Dental health is an important part of your dog’s wellbeing, and therefore it is worth taking the time to learn how to brush their teeth and how to get them used to the concept. Dog’s are highly susceptible to numerous dental diseases caused by bacteria in their mouths, and it is crucial that you do everything you can to keep those canines fresh and healthy.
Why You Should Brush Often
Dog’s accumulate a significant amount of bacteria within their mouths, much like people do. While most veterinarians recommend brushing your dog’s teeth twice per day, I find it much more feasible to aim for a couple of times per week alongside natural chews and dental sticks. If you are having trouble getting your dog to let you brush their teeth, I wrote an extensive guide you can read here that details easy methods to get your dog acclimated to teeth brushing.
Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth will prevent health issues such as periodontal disease, gingivitis, and plaque build-up. All of these conditions can cause wholistic health issues for your dog, which include difficultly eating, poor digestion, and eventual tooth loss. When there is a build-up of bacteria due to lack of brushing, these ailments are much more likely to occur. The best preventative for these conditions is routine brushing, which removes most bacteria from your dog’s teeth.
When you consistently brush your dog’s teeth with a good toothpaste, any pre-existing plaque build-up begins to dissolve with continued care. Not only will this reduce the chance of gum-related diseases, but it will also keep you out of the vet’s office for an expensive dental cleaning. Granted, if your dog already has a significant amount of build-up or discoloration and isn’t relieved by brushing, your dog may benefit from a dental exam.
Best Brushes For Your Dog’s Teeth
Depending on your dog and their comfort with having their teeth brushed, there are a couple of standout options when it comes to toothbrushes. Here are some of the best options I’ve come across that lead to healthy teeth and some seriously fresh breath:
- Barkley’s 360 Fingerbrush: This is by far my favorite brush to use on my dogs as it fits firmly on the tip of your finger so you can really get into the nooks and crannies of your dog’s mouth. I really enjoy being able to have a couple of fingers free to move my dog’s lip around while brushing their gums.
- Arm & Hammer Dog Toothbrush: Ergonomically designed for your dog’s mouth, Arm & Hammer offers a traditional brush that will get those tricky molars that are hard to get to. This brush also comes with an effective toothpaste you can use to reduce plaque buildup on your pup’s teeth.
- Bluestem Brush & Toothpaste Combo: If stinky breath is a major concern, Bluestem has a specialized toothpaste recipe that tastes good to your dog and smells great to you. This pack came with a double-sided brush so that you can use the larger or smaller side, depending on the size of your dog’s teeth.
No matter what you choose, be sure to make brushing your dog’s teeth a part of your routine. Being equipped with the proper tools helps you loosen up that plaque and avoid dental-related health issues that can cause some serious distress to your dog.