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Brushing your dog’s teeth

Posted October 16, 2013 in Advice Column, Downtown

Humans are not the only ones who should brush their teeth on a daily basis. Pet owners should be brushing their dog’s teeth as well. Good oral care is vital to a pet’s overall health. Many dog owners do not realize that periodontal disease is a common and serious problem. However, brushing your pup’s teeth can prevent it.

It is best to brush your dog’s teeth every day. If daily is not possible, try to aim for several times a week. There are different types of toothbrushes for dogs, so choose the tool that you feel most comfortable using. Also, there is special toothpaste that you can purchase at a pet store or veterinarian’s office. It comes in different flavors (peanut butter, liver, chicken) that will appeal to your pet. Do not use human toothpaste, as this can upset the dog’s stomach. Make sure to slowly introduce the tooth brushing process to your pet. After a brushing, praise your pooch and provide it with a reward.

You can also choose to have your veterinarian perform a professional cleaning. He or she will put your dog under anesthesia and complete a detailed cleaning along with assessing your pet’s periodontal health. This is normally done when a dog is a few years of age or older.

Help Fido keep fresh breath and pearly whites by maintaining a brushing routine and working with your veterinarian to stay atop their periodontal care.

Information provided by Carrie Bonnett, owner, Downtown Doggy Daycare, 724 Scott St., Des Moines, 288-0957.


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