The American Kennel Club recommends brushing your dog’s teeth at least once a day to help get him or her used to the idea and make it easier to get the job done in the future. Much like humans, dogs can experience dental decay, too, and it can be prevented with proper brushing. If you’re planning to buy a dog toothbrush, look no further than bamboo. It’s a great alternative to plastic for many different reasons.
Why You Need to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
The need to brush a dog’s teeth is a subject of great debate. Some vets say it isn’t necessary at all and a dog’s mouth is designed to clean itself, but others – and these others represent the clear majority – know that this is not the case. The idea that dogs don’t need to have their teeth brushed is often substantiated by the claim that wolves didn’t have toothbrushes, and dogs descended from wolves, so they don’t need toothbrushes, either. Domesticated dogs are much, much different from their wolf ancestors, though. Wolves’ eating habits – meaning the things they chew on – clean their teeth naturally. This isn’t the case for dogs, and they need our help.
Choosing a Good Dog Toothbrush
Now that you’re ready to start brushing your dog’s teeth once every day, it’s time to find the right toothbrush. There are several different toothbrushes out there that are marketed for dogs, so if you want to narrow the selection right away, nix any options that are plastic. Bamboo dog toothbrushes are much eco-friendlier, and because they’re naturally antimicrobial, there’s less of a chance of bacteria colonies growing on your pup’s brush.
Look for a bamboo toothbrush packaged in recycled and/or recyclable materials that is approved by vets and comes with a safe, natural, nontoxic wax. You should also buy a toothbrush size that is appropriate for your pup’s smile. This will help keep your furry friend comfortable during the act of brushing.
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
Put some toothpaste for dogs on the brush and let your dog lick it off. This should make him or her very happy and excited for more. Then, apply a little more and lift his or her lips gently with the end of the toothbrush. Start with just the first few teeth and don’t worry if you can’t reach all of them for the first few weeks. Over time, you will find that your dog lets you use the toothbrush more readily and you can move it much like you would move your own. If your dog keeps trying to chew the brush, this is normal. Bamboo is relatively strong and can tolerate a little chewing.
Remember that brushing your dog’s teeth needs to become routine not only for your dog, but also for you. Remember the reasons why you are doing it, choose a great toothbrush made especially for dogs, and remember to take a deep breath before attempting to get the toothbrush moving. It may take some time, and your dog may put up some resistance, but do the best you can.