Older dogs and certain dog breeds are prone to bad breath, gingivitis and gum infections. Many pet owners are even to starting to brush their dog’s teeth from puppy, just as in a human preventative care is some times the best care. If you have considered brushing your dogs teeth but don’t know where to start here is a quick how to:
• First get your dog used to the idea of having her teeth brushed. Massage her lips with your finger in a circular motion for 30 to 60 seconds once or twice a day for a few weeks. Then move on to her teeth and gums.
• Transition to Dog formulated tooth paste (ours likes chicken flavor) once your pooch seems comfortable being touched this way, or try a paste of baking soda and water on her lips to get her used to the taste.
• Next, introduce a toothbrush designed especially for dogs—it should be smaller than a human toothbrush and have softer bristles. Toothbrushes that you can wear over your finger (or a clean piece of gauze) are also available and allow you to give a nice massage to your dog’s gums.
• Finally, apply the toothpaste to her teeth for a gentle brushing.
• A veterinary exam beforehand may be helpful to find out if your dog’s gums are inflamed. If your dog has mild gingivitis, brushing too hard can hurt her gums.
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