Keeping up with your pup's dental health is important. Just like you, he's prone to cavities, tartar buildup and gingivitis. His dental problems can have important consequences, including kidney, heart and liver disease as well as infection. Brushing his teeth -- with the right toothpaste -- helps keep his smile, and him, healthy.
His Own Brush and Paste
If you decide to brush Bubba's teeth yourself, he'll need his own toothbrush and toothpaste. There are a variety of options available on the market, including finger brushes and flavored toothpaste. If you don't have the appropriate tools, clean his teeth with gauze wrapped around your finger and use baking soda. Your pooch doesn't understand rinsing and spitting, so he'll end up ingesting some of whatever cleaning product you use, which can be a problem if the toothpaste contains fluoride. The ASPCA notes fluoride will upset his stomach, and according to the Merck Veterinary Manual, oral cleaning products with fluoride can be dangerous to dogs, so don't share your toothpaste with Bubba. If he's still a young pup, less than 6 months old, the fluoride also can interfere with the enamel developing on his teeth.