Snoqualmie Valley Pets 101: Pet Dental Health Tips, Learn to Brush those Doggie Teeth

In her newest post, pet trainer for Le Chic Pet, North Bend resident and dog guru, Melissa Grant, teaches local pet owners pet dental health tips – and how to brush those doggie teeth!  

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February is Pet Dental Health month and did you know that a few easy steps can go a long way to ensuring your pet has a healthy mouth for years to come? Follow these easy steps to ward off expensive and painful dental treatments. Your pet will thank you for it!

1. The Breath Test 

Sniff your pet’s breath. While it is too much to expect minty freshness, his or her breath should not be horribly offensive. If it is and is accompanied by a loss of appetite, vomiting or excessive drinking or urinating, it’s a good idea to take your pooch to the vet.

2. Mouth Check 

Once a week, with your pet facing you, lift his or her lips and examine their gums and teeth. The gums should be pink, not white or red, and should not be swollen. The teeth should be clean, without any brownish tartar.

3. Signs of a problem 

The following are a few signs that your pet may have a problem in his mouth and should be checked by a veterinarian:

  • Bad breath (not just pet breath but really offensive)
  • Excessive drooling
  • Inflamed gums
  • Loose teeth

4. Tooth Decay 

Bacteria and plaque-forming foods can cause build-up on a pet’s teeth. This can harden into tartar, possibly causing gingivitis, receding gums and tooth loss –  just like people. The solution to this is brushing teeth, using tartar removal products such as Petzlife, and teeth cleanings.

5. Canine Tooth-Brushing Kit 

Get yourself a toothbrush and toothpaste made especially for animals or a clean piece of soft gauze to wrap around your finger. Never use human toothpaste, which can irritate a dog’s stomach.

6. Brushing those Pearly Whites 

  • First get your pet used to the idea of having her teeth brushed. Practice putting your fingers on your pets teeth and gum making circular motions dog-dentist
  • When your pet seems ok having your finger in his mouth, put a little bit of dog-formulated toothpaste or petzlife 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, as in step 7.

7. Brushing 

Place the brush or your gauze-wrapped finger to the teeth and clean in small, circular motions. Work on one area of your dog’s mouth at a time, lifting her lip as necessary. The side of the tooth that touches the cheek usually has the most tartar, and giving a final downward stroke can help to remove it. If your dog resists having the inner surfaces of her teeth cleaned, don’t fight it—only a small amount of tartar accumulates there. Once you get the technique down, go for a brushing two or three times a week. .

8. Chew Toys

Chew toys not only give them something fun to chomp on, they also can help make teeth strong. Chewing on a toy can also help massage gums and help keep teeth clean by scraping away soft tartar. Himalayan dog chews, bully sticks and deer antlers all help reduce the amount of tartar on a pooches chompers.

9. A Good Diet

Avoid feeding your dog table scraps, instead giving him treats that are specially formulated to keep canine teeth health. Feed a high quality kibble that can help slow down the formation of plaque and tartar build up.

10. Vet Checks

Don’t forget those annual checkups to make sure your pet has the best possible dental care. He will thank you or it.

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