How Often Should I Brush My Dog’s Teeth?

A lot of Georgia dog owners don’t realize that dogs, like humans, need good oral health and hygiene to keep their teeth healthy and to avoid potential health complications down the road.

There are quite a few benefits to regularly brushing a dog’s teeth. Some of the bacteria that can build up in dogs’ mouths can be responsible for some significant medical problems, including periodontal disease and bone health issues. Over time, these issues can reduce your pet’s lifespan, so making oral hygiene a priority is important if you hope to extend the amount of time you get to spend with your pet.

But what exactly is meant by “a regular basis” when discussing the frequency of brushing your dog’s teeth? Here’s what you should know about how often to brush a Georgia dog’s teeth.

The general rules

The more you’re able to brush your dog’s teeth, the better. If you’re capable of doing it every day, that’s fantastic.

Realistically, though, we are aware that for most pet owners it simply isn’t possible to get their dog into a daily tooth brushing routine, which is juts fine. Most experts agree that two or three times a week is more than sufficient to keep your dog’s teeth clean and free of tartar and plaque. It only takes a couple minutes with a good brush and a pet toothpaste for you to help prevent buildup of those substances.

The earlier in your dog’s life you’re able to start establishing this routine, the better, because periodontal disease will begin to set in by age three. Plus, it’s much easier for dogs to learn new behaviors as puppies, which will allow them to settle into those routines before they reach adulthood. While you absolutely can “teach old dogs new tricks,” it’s just a bit harder to introduce this new experience to them when they’re set in their ways and have never done it before.

What to know about brushing teeth

If you’ve made the decision to get started with a tooth-brushing routine for your dog in Georgia, it’s also important to know how to do this.

First, you’ll need to make sure you’ve gathered the correct supplies. Use a long-handled toothbrush that’s specifically designed for pets. Human toothbrushes are usually too short and also too easily snapped in half. Finger brushes are also fine. You can also purchase dog-friendly toothpastes, with flavors such as peanut butter, beef or poultry. Otherwise, you can mix up your own toothpaste using a simple blend of baking soda and water.

Spend some time getting your dog comfortable with the idea of you working in their mouth. Go slow, and focus on getting them used to you lifting their lip, touching their teeth and gums and what the toothpaste tastes like. Make sure you offer plenty of rewards for good behavior, and build a positive association with brushing teeth. Take breaks as needed to make sure your dog doesn’t get too stressed.

For more information about when to brush your dog’s teeth and the best ways to make it happen, contact the Georgia team at D&G Kennels.