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Brush your dog's teeth

Filed Under: pets

brushing a dog's teethDo you have a dog? If so, do you brush its teeth? Though I grew up with dogs, I have no recollection of anyone ever worrying about doggy dental care -- which probably explains why they all had really bad breath.

"Dog breath" was our highly original term for it. I had no idea this meant they were likely suffering from periodontal disease, which left untreated could lead to bacterial infections which could hit any of a large number of my poor pets' internal organs.

You can help keep their teeth clean by feeding them hard, crunchy foods and specially-designed dog biscuits. Beyond that, though, your dog does indeed need his teeth cleaned, two or three times a week.

Just how does one accomplish this?
The best way, according to, is to start when they're puppies. You get your puppy accustomed to you putting weird things in his mouth in gentle stages, starting with your finger (wrapped in sterile gauze if you wish) rubbed gently across his gums and teeth, through a rubber finger pet brush, and then to a proper tooth brush. At this point, you're only spending a minute or two at the task. The goal at first is simply to acclimatize them to the idea, not to accomplish real dental care.

Remember, dogs can't really spit: they'll almost certainly swallow the toothpaste, and human toothpaste is liable to make them sick. You'll need to use toothpaste specially formulated for dogs.

Once your pet is quite comfortable with the whole idea of a toothbrush and toothpaste, you can start giving them a more thorough cleaning. You can find detailed instructions for brushing your dog's teeth here, at

[via: Tipnut.]


  • Baron

    I'm really bad about it, but it is a very good thing to do! I have known of a few friends dogs that have passed away from complications associated with gum/tooth diseases. If you haven't done it yet, the toothpaste the vet gives you will generally be chicken, beef, liver, etc. flavored. My dogs actually love it, but getting it in their mouth in the first place is the hard part. Starting when they are pups, like you said, is the best way to get in the habit of it.

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