If you are a regular follower of my Instagram stories, you probably already know that we own two Shih-tzu dogs. One is eight years old and the other two. As I type this, one is asleep at my feet, the other is laying at the top of the stairs ‘keeping watch’. Shih-tzus do not shed hair, they need to be regularly clipped and trimmed although, I do love their fluffy fur, it gives them such character! They have regular health checks, eat wet and dry food and they share ½ a large dental stick every day, to keep their teeth healthy. I thought that was all fine until I agreed to collaborate on this campaign and learnt so much more about dog dental care
Disclosure: AD: This post is in conjunction with Pedigree® but all thoughts are my own
We clean our own teeth everyday so why not clean your dogs teeth too.
When you think about it, teeth are as important to dogs as our hands are to us! We use ours for eating, dogs use theirs for so many other things; playing, grooming, carrying, tugging and living life to the full…
…teeth are as important to dogs as our hands are to us!
Interesting Facts about your dogs teeth:
- Like humans dogs have two sets of teeth in their lives.
- During puppy hood dogs have 28 deciduous teeth.
- Puppy teeth usually start to fall out and are replaced by adult teeth at about 4 months of age.
- Most dogs will have a full set of adult teeth by 6-8 months. With the molars coming in last.
- There is a variation within breeds but most dogs have 42 teeth.
Signs of Gum Disease to watch out for:
- Bad breath in dogs is not normal and is almost always a sign of underlying gum disease.
- Bleeding gums (just like us) is a major sign of gum disease.
- A dog that is less lively or less willing to play is thought to be ” just getting old” this could be the result of gum disease. Would you fancy a game of tug if your mouth was sore?
- Your dog may be reluctant to have his head or face touched.
I had a look at my dogs teeth…
Both my dogs were happy but puzzled when I inspected their teeth! The older one has very healthy teeth and gums, probably because he loves dried food. I discovered the younger one would definitely benefit from having his teeth cleaned as surprisingly, he had plaque on his teeth!
How to brush your dogs teeth
As the joke says – carefully!
Use pet toothpaste, do not use human toothpaste!
Introduce tooth brushing gradually, keep each session short from a few seconds to a maximum of 2 minutes.
Introduce the pet toothpaste on your finger first and allow your dog to lick the toothpaste. rub your finger tip on his teeth.
With the other hand gently hold the muzzle to keep his moth mostly closed. Insert finger under the top lip and gently rub teeth. Take care, dont allow the mouth to open or you may get chewed!
On the next session introduce the toothbrush.
Repeat each small stage on five separate days, until your dog is comfortable with each session.
If you feel or see anything you are not happy with consult your vet.
My older dog is not at all keen to have a toothbrush anywhere near him, so I am booking an oral health check with my vet first. then we will begin our tooth brushing training.
TIP: Use an adult size toothbrush on large dogs and a child’s tooth brush on smaller dogs.
We already use dental chews…
My dogs have half a dental chew after breakfast and the other half after their dinner, before bed. Dental sticks help reduce plaque and tartar build up, helping to keep teeth and gums healthy. A bit like us, cleaning our teeth twice a day.
Click the link for more information on looking after your dogs teeth and dog dental care