Just like any other member of your family, your dog needs a dental hygiene regimen, too. Using doggie toothpaste and a specifically designed pet toothbrush are important aspects of keeping your dog's teeth and gums healthy. The best toothbrush for your pooch depends on several factors.
Regular Dog Toothbrush
Toothbrushes that are designed for dogs are smaller than a human toothbrush. These toothbrushes have softer bristles so they don't irritate your pet's gums. They're also designed with a different angle to better fit into a dog's mouth and work around his type of teeth. The handle has a bend to it right behind the bristles. Choose a toothbrush size according to your dog's size and breed. Talk to your vet or pet store associate if you have any questions or concerns about your specific dog.
A double-ended toothbrush has bristles on each end of the handle. One end is longer and wider and is meant for larger teeth. The other end has a smaller head, few bristles and is designed for the smaller teeth in a dog's mouth.
Opt for a finger toothbrush if you have a large dog breed, such as a Bernese mountain dog. These are rubber with small, soft rubber nubs and you place it over the end of your finger. You gently massage the teeth and gums with this toothbrush and it works well to get behind and in between a big dog's teeth. These don't work well for small dogs with tiny teeth, as you wouldn't be able to thoroughly clean between them.
Why Use a Dog Toothbrush
As you have no doubt noticed, dogs chew and eat lots of interesting things. That pile of fresh poo apparently looks appetizing to some doggies. You'll want to brush your dog's teeth to cut down on bad breath caused by eating this kind of stuff. Regular brushing also cuts down on bacteria and plaque build-up by removing food particles and debris from the teeth and mouth. If regular brushing doesn't get rid of smelly dog breath, this might indicate a health issue and you should contact your vet.
By Susan Revermann
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Grooming FAQ
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: General Dog Care
Pet Product Advisor: How to Select the Right Dog Toothbrush
About the Author
Susan Revermann is a professional writer with educational and professional experience in psychology, research and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in psychology, focused on research, motivational behavior and statistics. Revermann also has a background in art, crafts, green living, outdoor activities and overall fitness, balance and well-being.