Dog Dental Care: How to clean your dog's teeth

Looking after your dog’s teeth is just as important as looking after your own. Like us humans, dogs can get a variety of teeth and gum problems if their teeth are not regularly cleaned. Therefore, it’s important for you to brush their teeth every 24-48 hours to keep their mouths healthy! Our wide range of dog dental care products here at Direct4Pet are just one of the ways to help keep your dog’s dental hygiene in prime condition.

If possible, it’s a good idea to get your dog used to having their teeth brushed from a young age. If you didn’t get your dog as a puppy then you can start brushing your new dog’s teeth as soon as they are fully settled into their new environment and comfortable with you touching their mouth. 

It’s important to note that human toothpaste is highly toxic to dogs and therefore we recommend using a dog-safe enzymatic toothpaste and toothbrush which can be purchased on our website or also provided by your vet. 

For those dogs that are sceptical about having their teeth brushed try using a flavoured toothpaste that tastes like their favourite food such as Dorwest’s roast dinner toothpaste or Vibrac’s poultry flavoured enzymatic toothpaste. Alternatively, if your dog is extra fussy on some days where teeth brushing seems impossible, try giving them a dental chew, disguised as a treat but still provides hygienic dental benefits for your dog!

How-to Guide for cleaning your dog’s teeth

  • Let them taste their new dog-safe toothpaste - add it onto their food to get them accustomed to the taste
  • Try adding the toothpaste to your finger and letting your dog lick it off - tricking them into thinking you’re giving them a treat whilst getting them to like the toothpaste taste!
  • Get them used to having their teeth touched - ideally train them to allow teeth-touching  from being a puppy, however, if your dog is older and a bit more apprehensive start by gently rubbing a cloth along their gums with your finger
  • Next, try adding toothpaste to your finger and rubbing it along their teeth and gums so that they can get used to the action
  • Gradually move on to using a dog toothbrush by first introducing a small finger toothbrush, so that they can get acclimated with the sensation of brushing
  • Finally, when both you and the dog are comfortable and confident enough you can use a proper dog toothbrush with dog-safe toothpaste and get cleaning!

Top tip to remember - There’s no need to open their mouths fully. Simply lift the upper or lower lip to gain access to the teeth and brush in a circular motion, paying particular attention to the gum line.

It’s extremely important to remember that if at any point your dog looks uncomfortable, stop what you are doing and try again another day. It may take a while for them to get used to having their teeth cleaned and for many dogs it's a matter of building up trust with the person doing it.

If your dog is scared of getting their teeth cleaned or feels uncomfortable they may lash out, which can be dangerous for both owner and dog, so remember to introduce the process gradually. Slow and steady wins the race!

Signs of dental problems

Although dogs aren’t prone to the same dental issues as humans, they can still experience dental problems if their teeth are not looked after correctly! Similar to humans, dogs  can suffer from problems such as tartar, plaque build-up and gingivitis. If not treated correctly, your dog can go through severe dental diseases that may result in tooth extraction or permanent damage to the underlying bones. 

Look out for these signs indicating that your dog may have dental problems: bad breath, red or swollen gums, missing teeth, discoloration of teeth or changes in dog’s eating habits. If you notice any of these tell-tale signs then ring your vet and ask for their advice, many vets provide free dental clinics to check your dog’s teeth to ensure they are healthy!

Now that you’re familiar with the correct ways to care for your dog’s dental hygiene, why not browse our range of dental care products? Shop everything you need to keep your dog’s teeth healthy at Direct4Pet!