The dog toothbrush is one of the many accessories designed for the well-being and dental hygiene of your pet. Its use is more and more recommended, because the damage caused by tartar is considerable in the long term.
You don’t know the real reasons for its use and its advantages? We reveal them to you as well as some advice to choose the model of toothbrush adapted to your dog.
Dog toothbrush: how does it work and when to use it?
A dog toothbrush is a brush designed to wash the dog’s teeth. It works in a similar way to a human toothbrush. It is indeed rubbed against the dog’s teeth in order to get rid of the dental plaque that accumulates during meals. It is essential for a better oral hygiene.
The various veterinarians I have seen for my dogs recommend brushing a dog’s teeth at least every week. It is advisable to start early to get the dog used to it.
As far as varieties of dog toothbrushes go, there are three main types:
- The classic toothbrush
- The fingerbrush
- The electric toothbrush.
Each of them has its advantages, but also some limitations. I’ll tell you more later in this article. In the meantime, discover a selection of good cheap toothbrushes to buy online.
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What are the benefits of a dog toothbrush?
Toothbrushes for dogs allow to ensure and maintain a good dental hygiene to dogs. This hygiene is necessary and even essential for the animal’s health.
In fact, without brushing, tartar and plaque accumulate on the surface of the dog’s teeth. Such accumulation leads to infection and inflammation of the gums and then to loosening or loss of teeth.
The impact of plaque is not limited to the teeth. The bacteria that compose it can penetrate the dog’s blood. They will then affect the whole body, including the heart and kidneys.
For example, Jodie is a Cavalier King Charles, a breed known for its frequent heart problems. If I let her have teeth full of tartar, the chances of her developing early heart disease increase dramatically.
Toothbrushes help prevent tartar buildup and can help protect your dog from these problems. You should definitely use it if your dog is a brachycephalic, or short-nosed dog. These are the breeds that suffer most from tartar build-up.
Using a dog toothbrush is also a great way to save money, as scaling at a veterinarian is expensive. In addition, it requires a general anesthetic, which is always a risk for the animal.
How to choose a dog toothbrush?
The choice of the type of dog toothbrush to use requires the consideration of some criteria.
The type of toothbrush
As stated, there are three main types of dog toothbrushes to choose between the classic human-like toothbrush, the fingerbrush and the electric toothbrush.
The classic toothbrush offers the advantage of being easy to use and allows you to reach the teeth located at the back of the throat without difficulty. In addition, you don’t risk being bitten by a dog that is surprised or embarrassed and sometimes reflexively closes its mouth. However, it must have soft bristles to avoid damaging your dog’s gums and you must go gently. Be sure to brush up and down the teeth, rather than from left to right.
The fingerbrush looks like a small sheath that you put on one of your fingers. It slips easily around the fingers. It offers a more precise brushing than the classic brush by allowing to clean each side of the teeth. As the fingerbrush is less aggressive than the bristles of a brush, you don’t damage the gums, but I find it more difficult to remove tartar.
However, this is the solution I chose for my dogs. I’ve had a few little bumps in the teeth during brushing, but if I brush for ten seconds, stop and start again, they manage to swallow their saliva and accept the brushing of their teeth.
The electric toothbrush is easier to use because it requires no physical effort. However, it may scare your dog if it is too noisy. More expensive, it has undeniable qualities with a regular and easy brushing.
The size and age of the dog
The size and age of your dog are also criteria to consider when choosing a toothbrush. Indeed, whatever the type of brush, it must be adapted to the size of the dog’s jaw.
As far as age is concerned, classic toothbrushes and fingerbrushes are more adapted to young dogs, unlike electric ones.
Also consider the dog’s character. The gentlest ones can let their teeth be rubbed without flinching while others struggle and bite.
The price is the third and last main criterion, because it varies according to the type of brush. The electric brush is more expensive than the classic one and the fingerbrush.
However, the price of a toothpaste and a toothbrush is quite low compared to the price of a scaling. I pay 30€ for my kit (with the classic toothbrush, the fingerbrush and the toothpaste) and it lasts me a little bit more than one year.
In short, the use of a toothbrush is necessary not only for a good dental hygiene, but also for the general health of the dog. However, there are a few things to consider when choosing a toothbrush.
Once you have a toothbrush, don’t hide it in a drawer. Get into the habit of using it. In my house, routines are the most effective. I brush my dogs on Saturday or Sunday mornings, and brush their teeth one night mid-week.