HEALTH & WELLNESS
AACL – Animal Anti-Cruelty League
We’re excited and honoured to feature South Africa’s second largest independent animal welfare organisation on PetlifeSA.
How to Keep Your Dog’s Mouth Clean
The first step to keeping your dog’s mouth clean is knowing that you need to keep it clean.
The Goal: Reduce bacteria in your pet’s mouth to reduce the risk of diseases and conditions.
- Toothpaste made for dogs
- A toothbrush made for dogs
- Toys made for gum and dental health
- Treats made for gum and dental health
- Nutritional dog food formulated with dogs’ oral health in mind
WHAT TO DO
- Regular brushing at home (ideally every day)
- Annual professional cleaning (generally done under anaesthesia every one to three years)
HOW TO DO IT
It’s best to start introducing teeth brushing while your dog is still a puppy. In fact, getting your dog used to teeth brushing is part of socialisation.
If your dog is already all grown up, don’t despair! It can be done, but you just need to take it one step at a time.
These are the steps you need to take before jamming a toothbrush covered with toothpaste in your dog’s mouth.
- Use your hands to gently touch your dog’s muzzle before running a finger over the teeth and gums.
- Once your dog seems OK with this contact, you can present the toothbrush. Allow your dog to ‘check it out’ first before trying to use it.
- Next, you can gently rub his teeth with the bristles. If your dog seems anxious, stay calm, stop brushing and offer comfort.
- With gradual practice you’ll be able to first brush the front teeth and later the back ones. Be gentle when lifting the lips and holding the face.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Don’t pressure or rush your dog
- Building trust is an important part of the process
- The process can and probably will take a couple of days
- You’re doing the right thing