The Top 4 Reasons We Don’t Brush Our Dog’s Teeth
Here at Epi-Pet, we’re celebrating National Pet Dental Health Month, but the vast majority of pet parents don’t brush their dog’s teeth. And by majority, we mean 98 percent. Around 80 percent of our pups get some form of periodontal disease by their third birthday, so dental care is a big deal. Just for fun, here are the primary reasons doggie tooth brushing tends to be low on our priority lists. We’ll also show you some alternative dental care solutions that both you and your pooch will love!!
- Do people seriously brush their dog’s teeth?
This was exactly what I thought before I got my first dog, too. Even though my family has always owned dogs, I’d never heard of doggie dental care until I got a dog of my own as an adult. I may perhaps have actually laughed a teensy bit when my vet asked me about my dog’s daily dental care routine. Fortunately, my vet knew that I genuinely wanted my new service dog to get the best care possible, so he gave me some doggie toothpaste and showed me how to use it. Incidentally, never use human toothpaste for a dog. It contains ingredients that may be harmful to our pets.
- Dogs hate it!
Learning to brush our dog’s teeth can certainly seem challenging, possibly even scary. That’s why most of us would rather avoid this chore. However, with some patience and practice, your dog can learn to enjoy having his mouth handled. Using a doggie toothpaste that tastes like beef or chicken will make the process much easier, of course, but there are now a number of alternative products out there that are much easier to use.
Tevrapet’s Brush-Free Oral Gel is tasty and provides an easy work-around to traditional brushing. Just put some gel either on your finger or use the soft gel tip on the tube, then rub onto your dog’s gums once or twice a week, and you’re done!
Recently launched is Tevra’s new Vetality Brush Free Twist and Lick Oral Gel featuring the same long lasting oral gel that is in the BrushFree tube, but it is even easier to use and dog’s love it! All do is twist the dial on the bottom of the tube until gel comes out the top, allow your pooch to lick it off the applicator. The ingredients are safe, it tastes like chicken, and there isn’t any training, or brushing, necessary. This is the only dog dental care product that is actually fun to use!
- My dog eats a dental health diet. Why would I brush his teeth instead?
If you’re feeding a kibble designed to help with dental health, that’s a great first step. Unfortunately, while the scraping action of kibble does help a little bit with tartar and plaque, it’s not a complete dental care solution. Using kibble or crunchy dog treats is kind of like us humans expecting to keep our teeth clean by eating pretzels. A dental chew like these Brush Free Daily Dental Chews are a better option than kibble or traditional dog bones. These dental chews have a dense texture that provides more scraping action, like a toothbrush, but features proprietary “BEST” technology, restoring good oral hygiene with vet quality active ingredients. Your pups will really like the taste! Each bag has a 30-day supply!
- It’s just too inconvenient.
Once you and your dog establish a routine, brushing his teeth really doesn’t take that long. It’s just a matter of remembering to fit it in.
However, if you don’t think you can consistently brush your pet’s teeth there are brush free alternatives that are easier to incorporate into your pet’s dental health routine. Some require daily treatments and some just once-a-week, no matter what option you choose there are good and easy alternatives that can easily replace the frustration of sticking a toothbrush in your dog or cat’s mouth.
Why is it important to brush my dog’s teeth?
Providing some sort of dental care for our dogs is important, just like it is for us. The reasons are basically the same. First, nobody enjoys bad breath, even with our dogs. My Lab loves licking my face, and honestly, it’s not nearly as adorable when his breath stinks.
Even worse, tarter and plaque build-up result in gum disease and tooth decay, which can result in mouth pain for our pups. Older dogs tend to have more trouble with this, along with our smaller furry breeds, like Chihuahuas and Dachshunds.
Our vets will certainly provide quality dental care, including cleanings, tooth extractions, and other procedures, but these things are expensive and require general anesthesia, which is not fun for anybody.
The aftercare consequences when our dog’s teeth get pulled is stressful and time-consuming. Imagine soaking your dog’s food for twenty minutes, per meal, so it’s soft enough for him to eat comfortably. Not fun.
It’s also important to remember that the bacteria from an infected tooth or gums can travel throughout our dog’s body. This can result in other problems, like heart disease or kidney infections.
Those issues take much longer to treat and cause stress to our pups and their humans. That’s why we think it’s worth it to spend a few minutes every few days on in-home doggie dental care.