Yes, You Should Brush Your Dog's Teeth, Too

Every day we make decisions on behalf of our beloved canine friends to support their overall happiness and well-being. We walk them, play with them, feed them, and show them love. But there is one more activity that is often overlooked that can improve their overall health and that is brushing their teeth.

By age three, dental disease effects 4 out of 5 dogs. Wow! Lake Harriet Veterinary’s website explains that periodontal disease is the cause of your dog’s bad breath, and when left untreated may cause infections of the kidneys, liver, and heart.

This is what happens:
1. Old food turns into tarter.
2. The tarter builds up along the gums and below the gum line, where it cannot be seen.
3. The tarter collects bacteria, which gets released into the gums and through the gums enters your dog's blood supply.
4. The bacteria build in the dog’s body, spreading into the heart, the kidneys, and elsewhere. Eventually, it can overwhelm the dog’s systems.

How can you help to prevent the development of disease in your dog’s mouth? Brush your dog’s teeth once a day and talk with your vet about professional cleaning options. Yes, this is one more task to do each day, but the North Shore Animal League of America and other experts agree that teeth brushing can add years to your dog’s life. While the goal is daily teeth brushing, I know you live in a world with many demands on your time. Start with the goal of brushing your dog’s teeth at least three or four times per week, until daily brushing becomes a routine.

Learn more about how to brush your dog’s teeth from Lake Harriet Veterinary.

Leo, my Goldendoodle, has had his teeth brushed from an early age. He even reaches for the tooth brush! Take a look.

Maybe it could be fun for you too.