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How To Brush & Clean Your Dogs' Teeth? - IAMS™ Singapore
How To Brush & Clean Your Dogs' Teeth? - IAMS™ Singapore

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How To Brush Your Dogs’ Teeth: Tips on Dog Dental Care!

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We all want the best for our pets, and maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial to their overall health and wellbeing. This means keeping your dog’s teeth clean regularly and taking it for annual dental check-ups as well. Without proper oral care, your dog can develop dental diseases like plaque buildups, gingivitis, and tartar, which can have serious consequences, leading to tooth loss and other infections in your dog’s body.

Taking proper care of your dog’s teeth and feeding nutritious food will reduce their risk of developing oral illnesses in the future. Besides, brushing your dog's teeth can be a great bonding experience for you, and your dog may slowly come to love the activity.

 

 

Why is your dog’s dental care important?

As a dog parent, you would want your dog’s mouth to be fresh and healthy. Here are 5 reasons why your dog’s dental care is important for its overall health. 

 

Preventing dental discomfort

Dental pain can be extremely unpleasant for dogs, especially when it is severe. This can be avoided by keeping your dog's gums and teeth healthy.

 

Preventing teeth loss

When the bones that support your dog’s teeth get infected or damaged, they may weaken and fall out. Providing good dog oral care will ensure that your dog oral care remain healthy. 

 

Preventing organ failure

Bacteria residing in the plaque can enter your dog’s bloodstream and travel to the kidneys, heart, and liver. This spread of germs can harm its organs and make your dog sick. It is here that good oral hygiene will prevent bacteria and associated organ damage in your dog.

 

Preventing mouth odor

If the smell of your dog’s breath makes you gag, then know that your dog needs a dental cleaning session. But when your dog has healthy teeth and mouth, bad breath will not be an issue.

 

Preventing growing dental illness

Since many dogs develop dental disease by the age of three, preventing it might be tough. But good dog dental care can prevent oral diseases from escalating to the point where it causes problems throughout its body.

Dogs need regular oral care just like you do; gum disease and broken teeth are the major concerns. Fortunately, pets seldom suffer from tooth decay. Their cone-shaped teeth, non-acidic saliva, and low-sugar diets all help protect them from this nasty ailment. Regular brushing and professional teeth cleaning can keep your dog’s teeth clean, healthy, and gleaming. Giving your pet appropriate toys to chew is known to prevent fractures.

Note: If you give your pets sweets for snacks, they can get cavities.

 

How to brush your dog’s teeth?

 

Choose a quiet time to brush your dog’s teeth 

It should just be you and your dog, with no other children or pets in the house.

 

Buy a toothpaste for your dog

Dog toothbrushes can be easily found in pet stores or on the internet. But remember to use only dog-specific toothpaste while brushing your dog’s teeth. 

 

Choose a good spot for brushing its teeth

Make sure you are in a well-lit area so you can see what you're doing when brushing your dog's teeth and that your dog is comfortable.

 

Introduce toothpaste to your dog

Begin by displaying the toothpaste to your dog and allowing them to lick it off your finger.

 

Then start brushing its top teeth

Hold its upper lip up and brush the top front teeth. 

 

Move to brush its bottom teeth

Brush the bottom teeth while holding the bottom lip down. Begin with the front teeth, and then work your way to the side and back.

 

Brush the sides and back 

If your dog is sitting still while you’re brushing its teeth, you can brush both the interior and outside of its teeth at the same time. Brushing the insides of the teeth is a little more difficult, so add this step after your dog is calm and after the outsides of its upper and lower teeth have been brushed.

 

Finally, reward your dog 

Brushing your dog’s teeth may be an odd experience. Thus, praise your dog constantly to make this a happy experience. Although it may seem unusual to offer treats when you’re brushing your dog’s teeth. But the primary goal should be to teach the skill, and then you may focus on removing food from the equation later.

 

 

Start care young

When your puppy first begins to get permanent teeth, check if the baby tooth has come out for the new tooth grow. Retained teeth can cause the permanent teeth to be crooked. Toy dog breeds, with their tiny jaws, are more prone to such dental problems.

While hard foods and chew toys can help keep teeth clean, you need to get your pet used to a regular tooth brushing. As soon as you bring your new pet home, get it accustomed to having its mouth handled. It is also good training—it teaches the dog to tolerate having things in his mouth without biting or snapping.

 

 

Feeding right

What your dog eats affects its 'smile.' Dry foods and treats help clean plaque from its teeth. Rawhide chews are also good cleaning tools, as are some of the knobby plastic toys on the market. None of these are hard enough to cause tooth damage, however monitor your dog to be sure that it doesn’t swallow small pieces of these toys. Real bones can also be dangerous for your pet and should not be used for tooth-cleaning purposes.

All dry adult IAMS™ Dog Foods, include Daily Dental Care, a special kibble coating that helps reduce tartar buildup for better oral health. So, along with providing balanced nutrition, our range of dry dog food focuses on dental hygiene as well.

 

 

Teaching your dog to accept brushing

It just takes a little time and patience. Begin by running your finger gently over his gums. At first, just rub the outside, but as he adjusts to the routine, begin to open his mouth and rub the gums inside the teeth as well.

As your dog gets accustomed to this, wrap your finger with gauze and rub his gums. Eventually, add a pet toothpaste; do not use human toothpaste. After a few weeks, your dog should be willing to accept a toothbrush for pets, which should have soft, multi-tufted synthetic bristles.

Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and apply it to the area where teeth and gums meet. Rotate it in small circles, overlapping several teeth. Finish with vertical strokes to pull plaque from between the teeth. Repeat until all the teeth on the cheek side are clean. The inside teeth will be more difficult, as your dog may resist opening its mouth, but eventually you will be able to brush the inside and outside surfaces of all the teeth. For effective cleaning, brush your dog's teeth a couple of times a week.

 

 

How to pick the right toothpaste for your dog?

If you want to keep your dog's teeth clean but are worried about the cleaning process, then you are not alone. You need to pick a toothpaste advised by your vet as they are usually clinically tested abd approved. But most importantly, refrain from using human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. It’s because human toothpaste contains fluoride, which is highly toxic to dogs.
 

How to protect and keep your dog’s teeth clean?

 

By using dog wipes

Dental wipes for dogs are designed to be wiped against your dog's teeth to eliminate plaque. They work in a similar way to toothbrushes and are an excellent way to keep your pet's teeth clean. They're generally more convenient to use than a toothbrush and toothpaste.

 

By brushing dog’s teeth

Brushing your dog's teeth may seem goofy, but it's a great method to keep plaque from forming. Unlike humans, dogs do not require daily brushing. Your dog might not enjoy having its teeth brushed at first but making it a habit will help. Brushing should be done using a dog toothbrush or a fingertip toothbrush. You'll also require dog toothpaste. Consult your vet for advice, and then decide what you and your dog prefer.

 

By using chew toys

Dog chews come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and most of them contain teeth-cleaning characteristics. Chewing is a natural way for your dog to clean its teeth and is beneficial to its dental health. Frequent chewing prevents your dog’s teeth from decaying and helps clean its teeth. Cow ears, chicken strips, and bully sticks are excellent chews for keeping your dog healthy and happy.

 

By giving dog dental treats

Dogs adore treats, and dental treats are an excellent way to improve your dog's oral care and hygiene. These treats are designed to eliminate plaque buildup and typically include chemicals that help to get rid of your dog's breath and clean its mouth. They are considerably more liked by dogs than a toothbrush or tooth wipes, and they keep dogs' mouths clean. These treats are available in a wide range of tastes, forms, and sizes, so you are sure to find something your dog will enjoy.

 

By going for routine cleanings

Having your dog's teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian is probably the smartest way to ensure its dental health. Your veterinarian will be able to determine what is best for your dog's teeth by addressing any problems that even the most devoted dog owner might overlook.

 

Frequently asked question on How To Brush Your Dogs’ Teeth: Tips on Dog Dental Care!

 

How should I take care of my dog's teeth?

You can take care of your dog’s teeth in the following ways: 

  • Brush your dog’s teeth by using a dog-safe toothpaste and toothbrush 
  • Give your dog chew toys to gnaw on
  • Frequently spritz dog dental sprays 
  • Visit the vet for regular dental cleaning

 

Do dogs really need their teeth cleaned?

Yes! Even dogs develop plaque and tartar on their teeth which is caused by lingering food particles and bacteria. The bacteria then spreads to their gums and cause serious inflammation resulting in gingivitis, or worse, teeth loss. 

 

How can I remove plaque off my dog's teeth at home?

Regularly brushing your dog's teeth using a dog toothbrush and a dog-safe toothpaste is the best way to eliminate plaque. You can also remove tartar from your dog's teeth with a finger brushing. But it may take a lot of training for your dog to tolerate using a finger toothbrush at first.

 

How to remove tartar from your dog's teeth?

Giving your dog a Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approved dental food that reduces plaque and tartar accumulation through mechanical or chemical ways will help reduce plaque buildup. Tartar formation is considerably slowed by minimising plaque formation. Brushing or wiping your dog's teeth on a daily basis is recommended.

 

Can you use mouthwash for dogs?

Yes, you can, but you must use a dog-safe mouthwash. It will help to keep bacteria at bay and decrease plaque when used carefully and diluted in your dog's water bowl.

 

  • Your Senior Dog’s Special Nutritional Needs
    Your Senior Dog’s Special Nutritional Needs

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    Your Senior Dog’s Special Nutritional Needs

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    One of the most important things you can do is to feed your senior dog a diet formulated for his age featuring nutritional breakthroughs developed by the geriatric research team at The IAMS™ Company. As the years take their toll, a complete, well-balanced diet can help older dogs maintain health and ideal body weight, maximize their ability to stay healthy, and promote and maintain muscle tone and digestive health.

     

     

    How Old Is Old?

    To call a dog 'old,' one mustn't consider chronological age, but rather physiological condition. Aging begins when the body's systems start to slow down when cells deteriorate faster than the body can repair them. Though the process is different for every animal (large and giant breeds tend to age faster than smaller breeds), dogs are generally considered seniors beginning at around 7 years (5 years for large and giant breeds). If you feed your dog a diet designed to address the nutritional needs of his age, you can best maintain your dog's overall health and well-being. As your dog ages, detecting and addressing signs of wear and tear or disease early might help your dog adjust more readily to his condition.
     

    How your dog ages has much to do with genetics and environment, but nutrition plays an equally important role. The quality of the food and its ability to maintain and nourish your dog's cells can slow or delay the effects of aging and help promote a long, healthy life. As your dog ages and his systems become less efficient, he relies increasingly on the food you provide to make up for his body's shortfalls. According to Michael Hayek, PhD, a research nutritionist at The IAMS Company who specializes in geriatric nutrition, 'Aging dogs need the same nutrients as younger dogs; however, the quantity or the way the nutrients are provided may change.'
     

    Dr. Hayek advises not waiting until you see signs of aging in your dog to consider the proper diet. Feeding a high-quality, premium diet throughout your dog's life is the best way to help him age gracefully. When your dog reaches the golden years, choose IAMS for nutrition suited to this stage of life. 'Good nutrition starts early,' says Dr. Hayek. 'It should be viewed as proactive health care because it may be a deterrent to aging later on.'
     

    If your dog already exhibits signs of aging, look for a high-quality, balanced maintenance food that caters to his changing metabolism. When you're shopping for a formula that's right for your older dog, look for and compare these important features:
     

    High-quality animal protein. Just like us, as dogs grow older, they naturally tend to lose lean body mass (muscle). High-quality protein becomes increasingly significant by providing the essential amino acids your dog needs to minimize the loss of lean body tissue. By nature, dogs are carnivores, and they do best on high-quality, animal-based proteins from sources such as chicken or lamb. Some people believe that aging dogs should be fed less protein to prevent or minimize kidney disease. However, the evidence is just not there. Reduced protein has a significant effect only after a certain level of renal dysfunction occurs. Signs of renal dysfunction include an increase in water consumption and increased urination. If you're concerned about your dog's renal health, your veterinarian can run tests to assess the level of renal function and recommend appropriate treatments if they are needed.
     

    'If your dog is generally in a state of good health,' explains Dr. Hayek, 'protein should not be restricted. Rather, it should be available for building those all-important muscle reserves.' Some studies have shown that a diet of high-quality protein might actually help improve kidney function, and no research has indicated that low-protein diets slow the progression of renal damage in dogs.
     

    Lower fat. Less-active, older dogs need fewer calories. Look for a food that's low in fat compared to our other adult formulas, but don't eliminate fat completely or feed a food that doesn't have enough fat. Pick a formula with at least 10% fat. Older dogs still need essential fatty acids. The inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids helps a senior dog maintain a proper fatty-acid balance as the body's fatty-acid synthesis naturally decreases.
     

    Moderately fermentable fiber. The goal of fiber is to help maintain optimal intestinal health. 'You want to aim for consistent stools,' explains Dr. Hayek. The goal is to promote digestibility and the ability to process food and absorb nutrients. At the same time, fiber levels should promote and maintain a healthy intestinal tract, which often can be problematic for older dogs. A fiber level of no more than 5% is appropriate for seniors to maintain an optimal intestinal environment for a healthy gut, which helps result in excellent nutrient absorption and small, firm stools. IAMS includes dried beet pulp, a patented fiber source, in all of its foods to make elimination easier and regular. According to Dr. Hayek, if you've been feeding your dog properly all along, fiber requirements shouldn't change.
     

    Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are a unique fiber source. FOS is a moderately fermentable fiber which can help maintain a healthy intestinal environment.
     

    Antioxidants. These help maintain balance within the body by ridding it of harmful compounds called free radicals, which increase as a dog ages. Antioxidants fend off free radicals and help protect cell membranes and DNA. To maintain your older dog's immune-system response, feed a formula with important antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin E and beta-carotene.
     

    Vitamins and minerals. A high-quality, nutritionally balanced dog food should include all of the essential nutrients in the proper proportions. Some say that vitamin and mineral supplements are necessary as a dog's systems age. The fact is that, unless your veterinarian specifically identifies a deficiency, vitamin and mineral supplements are unnecessary and, in some cases, might do more harm than good by creating an unhealthy imbalance.

     

     

    The Golden Years

    Balanced feeding is vital as a dog ages, but it's just as essential throughout his life. The longer and more consistently you feed him a healthy diet for his life stage, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Senior Plus, the greater his chances of living a long, healthy life. As your dog reaches the senior years for his breed or size, remember these tips:
     

    • Minimize stress and change. Avoid big moves or changes in your dog's schedule. If you must disturb a routine, give him some added attention to ease the adjustment.
       
    • Provide regular exercise. Two 15-minute walks each day will help maintain muscle tone, enhance circulation, promote digestion, and prevent weight gain.
       
    • Feed smaller, more frequent meals. Instead of one large portion a day, try two or three smaller meals, which will also help increase your dog's metabolism, burn calories, and provide all of the needed nourishment.
       
    • Schedule routine veterinary checkups and immunizations. Regular dental care and thorough physicals will help you identify subtle changes in your dog's health. At home, take a few minutes each month to closely examine your dog for odd-shaped bumps or lumps. If you discover something unusual on the body, and it seems to be growing rapidly, call your veterinarian. Early detection and preventive treatment can go a long way toward extending life expectancy.
       
    • Buy palatable, high-quality premium pet food. As your dog ages, he might become less interested in eating. Offer palatable, nutrient-dense food to encourage productive, efficient digestion and to maintain essential bodily functions.
       

    Finally, Dr. Hayek points out that there's still much to learn about canine geriatric nutrition. For now, realize that every animal ages at a different rate and in different ways. Monitor your dog and especially watch for changes after 7 years of age (5 years for large and giant breeds). With the help of your veterinarian and responsible pet food manufacturers, your pet can live to a comfortable, healthy old age.