Pet Dental Health Month

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February is Pet Dental Health month so I wanted to let you know a few tips to help your dog get used to having their teeth cleaned, plus some of the things I do to look after the dental health of my dogs.

It’s highly unlikely that your dog will naturally enjoy having their teeth cleaned so there are a few stages you’ll need to work through to help get them used to the process.

Stage 1

First of all, are they happy with you touching their muzzle area? Signs that they might not be comfortable include; trying to move away from you, turning their head away, freezing, lip licking, hunched body with tail tucked under, shaking or refusing food.

Stage 2

Once your dog is comfortable with this the next step is to be able to lift up their jowls (lips) to view their teeth and gums.

Stage 3

To get your dog used to something running over their teeth and gums, use your finger to mimic a toothbrush. You can also get rubber toothbrushes which you place over your finger.

Stage 4

Then you can move on to a toothbrush!
During stages 3 & 4 you can add in some dog toothpaste. Most are flavoured to make them tasty for your dog, adding to the pleasure of the experience. It’s important that you don’t use human toothpaste as this shouldn’t be swallowed and may even contain ingredients such as xylitol which is highly toxic to dogs.

Throughout, be sure to look for any sign that your dog is uncomfortable and don’t pressure them to move forward before they’re ready. 

Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth every day, and if you do you are AMAZING!! However for most dog owners this just isn’t a reality.
Knowing that I don’t brush my dogs’ teeth as often as I should, I make sure that they get a scoop of A-OK9 Plaque K9 in their food every day. This powder contains lots of lovely ingredients to help soften and remove plaque build up and freshen breath.

I also provide them with appropriate chews. This is not only great as a calming activity, but it helps to keep their teeth clean and scrape off any plaque that has been softened by the A-OK9 Plaque K9. 

Do you brush your dog’s teeth every day, or use other strategies to help keep your dog’s teeth clean?
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