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albuquerque pet dental health

DIY: How to Brush Your Dogs Teeth

albuquerque pet dental healthIt is pet dental health month! And to start it off we want to give you some basic tips on how to help keep your dog’s teeth healthy. Brushing their teeth is the easiest and best way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy, looking and smelling better.

Did you know that your dog’s dental health is just as important as your own? Plaque buildup, gum disease, and gingivitis are all issues that affect both you and your dog. Just like you need deeper cleanings than a toothbrush can offer, Vetco offers deep dental cleanings. For the month of February 2018, we are offering $15 off dental cleanings. 

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

What You Need

Despite what many pet stores will have you believe, you do not have to have a special toothbrush for your dog. Though you can use a dog toothbrush or a child’s toothbrush, you can also use gauze wrapped around your finger or a cotton swab. What is important is that you are able to reach all corners of your dog’s mouth comfortably.

If you are going to use a toothpaste, you do need to use one formulated for dogs. Do not use human toothpaste, baking soda, or salt. These cleaning agents can be harmful for your dog


Do I need to use a special toothpaste to brush my dog’s teeth?

Pet toothpaste, often flavored like poultry, malt, and other dog-friendly varieties are your best option. Never use human toothpaste, baking soda or salt. While safe for you, these cleaning agents can be harmful to your dog if swallowed. Be careful of homemade dog toothpaste recipes. Most of them contain baking soda which can lead to stomach upset for your dog. If you are interested in making your own, here is a baking soda free homemade toothpaste recipe care of

Homemade Dog Toothpaste Recipe:

  • 1 cup of unrefined, virgin coconut oil.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kelp.
  • 1/8th tablespoon of dried parsley flakes.
  1. Place one cup of coconut oil in a hot water bath to make it soft and pliable. (Unless it already is!)
  2. Add the turmeric, kelp and parsley flakes.
  3. Mix thoroughly, store in fridge between uses.

At Home Dog Teeth Cleaning

Let your dog try the toothpaste before jumping into brushing. Once he realizes that it tastes good, he will likely be more cooperative.

  1. Lift your dog’s lips to expose their teeth and gums
  2. Brush with a gentle motion to clean both the teeth and gums. If your dog flinches or pulls away, try brushing more gently in case it is a little painful. Dogs with gum disease may have some sensitivity in their gums, but this is also why brushing is important. Brushing will help treat the gum disease and make the gums feel better, even if it may be a little sensitive at first.
  3. Clean any visible surface, including their cheeks. Most dogs won’t allow you to brush the inside of their teeth. Just do the best you can and clean as much as you can.
  4. Make sure to clean their back molars. This is where the most build-up tends to be.
  5. Give your dog a reward, like a nice dog biscuit as a treat for letting you brush her teeth.

You should brush your dog’s teeth at least weekly, though every day is ideal. If you cant brush every day, make sure you get dog chews that help clean plaque build up.


How Often Does My Dog Need Professional Cleaning?

Just like you, it is good to get their teeth cleaned annually. The cleanings allow for a truly thorough cleaning of all their teeth which helps prevents tartar buildup, gingivitis, and gum disease. If your dog has any teeth that need to be extracted due to cavities, these can be removed at this time. It also gives the vet the chance to assess your dog’s overall dental health. Poor dental health can lead to a lot of other health problems such as life-threatening illness, organ failure, and heart disease.

Take advantage of our February $15 off dental cleaning coupon and bring your dog into Vetco on Menaul for their annual dental cleaning.