Oral hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. There are products on the market to use to brush your dog’s teeth, but surely you can just use regular human toothpaste to do the job? It is an interesting question, but the answer is ‘no’. This is because dogs have different teeth and need their toothpaste formulated for their teeth.
Some people claim that you can brush a dog’s teeth with human toothpaste. However, it is not recommended to use human toothpaste on dogs since it could cause harm and cause irritation to their gums and mouth. Keep reading to find out why.
Is Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth with Human Toothpaste Safe?
Human toothpaste contains a lot of chemicals that are toxic to animals. That is why it is not advised to brush your pet dog’s teeth with your toothpaste.
Fluoride is a common component in toothpaste for humans. Fluoride can cause toxic effects when taken in large quantities. In addition, most human toothpaste does not taste good to animals. Pets shouldn’t eat human toothpaste, but since they can’t rinse their mouths after brushing as humans do, some of it is bound to be ingested, which could cause them harm.
Why Is Dog Toothpaste Necessary?
Dog toothpaste is different from toothpaste for humans in many ways, just as dogs have different dietary needs. Because human toothpaste is not intended to be swallowed, you must use toothpaste specifically designed for pets. In addition, you cannot force your dog to rinse, no matter how smart he is. Dogs are also sensitive to mint, which is the flavor of most human toothpaste, making it more difficult to get their teeth brushed.
Gingivitis is a condition where plaque builds up on teeth from the combination of saliva and food particles. If this plaque is not cleaned by brushing, tartar will form. Once that happens, standard cleaning of your pet’s teeth won’t be enough.
Plaque can build up on your teeth six to eight hours after brushing them. The same happens with dogs. As a result, periodontal disease in dogs is possible, even though the regular immune system can counter the harmful effects. Dog owners often call this “doggy smell” and think it is normal. However, it can signal that your dog is suffering from periodontal disease.
You can begin by looking for the VOHC Accepted seal when choosing a dog toothpaste. Antibacterial toothpaste for pets may contain enzymes (lactoperoxidase or glucose oxidase), which react with saliva to make them antibacterial. Even if your dog’s toothpaste does not have the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of approval, it will still be effective in removing plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth.
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Properly?
To get started, use a toothbrush that is suitable for your dog, preferably a pet toothbrush. A finger toothbrush is best for dogs under 30 pounds. However, you can use any soft-bristled toothbrush. A brush with a more extended handle and an angled, oval-shaped head is better for larger dogs. Bear in mind that just like our toothbrushes, a dog’s toothbrush needs to be changed every three months or when the bristles become worn.
Place the toothpaste between the bristles of the brush so that it can adequately reach the teeth and gums. Gentle brushing is acceptable by dogs. Start slowly by gently wiping their teeth with a moist cloth, gauze, and a toothbrush soaked in warm water. As you go, add toothpaste. Start by giving your pet some toothpaste to taste.
Your focus should be on the outermost portion of the upper teeth. The bristles should point at 45 degrees from the gum line.
Place the toothbrush under the cheek to ensure that your pet’s back teeth are brushed after applying the toothpaste. The outside of the lower and inner teeth will brush the inside of the upper ones. The tongue action will brush the inside of the lower teeth. Pet owners can focus their brushing on the teeth’s buccal (or outside) surfaces.
Dog owners should brush their pet’s teeth daily. It’s easier than brushing your dog’s teeth a few times per week or month, even though it may seem daunting. Research has shown that infrequent brushing is not effective in controlling oral disease.
How To Introduce Your Dog to Teeth Brushing?
It’s best to introduce your dog to teeth brushing as a puppy. However, it is essential to give adult dogs a positive experience when caring for their teeth. You can find many dog-toothpastes that are beef or chicken-flavored. Try a variety of flavors to see which one your dog likes.
Brushing your dog’s teeth can be made easier if he loves his toothpaste. Make brushing fun, especially for adult dogs. Your dog will not enjoy or be responsive to having its teeth brushed if you put it in a headlock every time.
Begin slowly by brushing or wiping one or two teeth with toothpaste. As you progress, praise your dog. If your dog refuses to be brushed, there are other options. For example, you can use pads to clean the teeth. There are also rinses, chew toys, treats, and water additives with ingredients that promote good oral hygiene. Brushing your dog’s teeth with toothpaste designed for dogs is the best way to keep their mouth clean.
Read also: Does Brushing Your Dog Reduce Shedding?
It might be some time before your dog gets used to brushing. Brushing your dog’s teeth daily is the best way to help him become accustomed to brushing. However, it is ok to brush twice per week if you don’t have time or find it challenging.
Remember to reward your dog for doing an excellent job while training them to get their teeth brushed. Positive reinforcement can be a powerful way to influence behavior. You and your dog will both be happy if you keep their teeth clean. In addition, it will promote good health for your dog and make them more cheerful in the long run.