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Teeth Cleaning for Dogs

Teeth Cleaning for Dogs

Dental care is a very important part of keeping your dog healthy as it helps protect the dog's teeth and gums from infections and teeth loss. The following article will cover some information related to teeth cleaning for dogs such as its, cost, procedure, etc.
DogAppy Staff
Cleaning the teeth of your dog is very important to help maintain the dog's dental hygiene. Taking care of this at home will help minimize the need to visit the vet for professional treatment. Dental problems are a serious health issue that should not be ignored. A vet may clean your dog's teeth under general anesthesia. The cost is quite expensive. So, the best thing to do is start dental care routine at home. Once you and the dog get the hang of it, it won't be so complicated or difficult.

Required Materials
Dogs can develop a number of dental diseases like plaque, tartar, and 'periodontal' diseases. You can carry out regular cleaning to help minimize the occurrence of these diseases and the cost of getting the job done by a vet.

Brushing the dog's teeth should be an enjoyable process for both you and your dog. You should begin slowly and shower your dog with praises as you do this. You can buy a pet dog toothpaste that contains different active ingredients. These toothpastes should contain chlorhexidine, hexametaphosphate, or zinc gluconate.

You need to buy brushes, sponges, and pads according to the size of the mouth, health of the gums, and your ability to clean them. Toothbrushes that are ultra soft and designed specially for the pets should be brought. You can even try finger toothbrushes that fit over your finger for an easier grip. Dental sponges have a small sponge on one end of the handle and are softer than the brushes. Dental pads are useful in removing the debris, but lack the mechanical action of the brushes.

Procedure for Dental Cleansing at Home
The first step involves getting your dog used to the taste of the toothpaste. You need to allow the dog to lick the toothpaste off your fingertips. When he does that, you should shower him with praises. If he does not like the taste, try a new toothpaste. You should carry on with the toothpaste testing till you find the right flavor your dog likes.

Now, it's time to get your dog used to something placed against his teeth and gums. You should apply a small amount of paste on your finger and rub it against his front large canine teeth. This will help both of you to get the hang of brushing. Make sure you continue to praise him.

Once your dog is used to the toothpaste and having something against his gums, you need to start using a toothbrush, sponge, or pad. You should allow him to get used to the texture of the brush by licking on the toothpaste on the brush. Continue to praise him and make sure he readily licks the toothpaste off the brush for a week or so.

We now move on to the next level of the actual brushing. You need to speak to your dog in a happy tone and keep praising him till you finish. You need to lift his upper lip very gently and then place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gum line. Now, you need to move the brush back and forth very gently. Once the dog allows you to have several teeth brushed, you should gradually increase the number of teeth you brush. You should make brushing look like a fun game, so that the dog looks forward to teeth cleaning for dogs sessions with anticipation. You should try and carry this out daily. If you cannot do it daily, make sure you carry it out often to help minimize plaque buildup. You can always take your dogs for professional treatments once in a while to make sure the canine dental health remains in an optimum condition.

Professional Treatment
When you bring your dog to a vet, he will first advice you to consider a blood work for CBC and chemistry profile. This will help determine any infections or anemia the dog may be suffering from, that is not detectable physically. This will also help the vet understand that all the internal organs are functioning normally. This is because the vet will put your dog under anesthesia before he begins the process.

The doctor will put your dog under a general anesthesia. You should not hesitate to ask the doctor which anesthesia will be safe for your pet and any complications that may arise if you own an older dog. Be free to ask and clear your doubts. Once under anesthesia, the vet will conduct a full oral examination. This will help him detect any loose, broken, or missing teeth. This examination will also help detect any oral tumors or lesions.

Then the veterinary technician will scale out all the tarter and plaque. Then he will polish the teeth and may apply a product called OraVet. This product helps seal the teeth and prevents tartar buildup. Once the technician is done with his job, the doctor will extract any loose teeth. The vet may even recommend a root canal, if required. The vet may prescribe some pain medications in case of extraction and have the root canal carried out. Or he may give some antibiotics for gum diseases or infections.

Teeth Cleaning without Anesthesia
Many owners opt for teeth cleaning for dogs without anesthesia. However, this can lead to many health problems like gum diseases and tooth loss. This cleansing process will help make the tooth surface look bright and clean. The problems that your dog may have to face are as follows:
  • The gum lines may become tender or sensitive.
  • The back of the teeth won't be cleaned effectively as the dog will resist it.
  • The teeth may be cleaned by an untrained personnel. You should keep in mind that in America and Canada, this process should be carried out only by a vet or a vet technician under supervision of the vet.
  • The dog is at a greater risk of injury due to lack of anesthesia.
As you can see, although it is cheaper without anesthesia, it may lead to many dental issues.

Average Cost
The process cost can vary between USD 70 and USD 350. This depends on the pre-anesthetic blood work and the amount of plaque build up. It also depends on any periodontal diseases, if any. The average cost of veterinary pet insurance is USD 292. Daily brushing will cost about USD 30 to USD 60 per year depending on the dog's size.

Dental care for dogs is one of the utmost important aspects of dog grooming. Dog teeth are just like a human's and you should care for them the way you care for your own. I hope this article helps you begin a regular dental routine for your dog.