Dental care is an important part of your dog’s health. As in humans, periodontal disease affects more than your pet’s teeth and gums. Oral bacteria can cause additional health problems, including heart, kidney and liver diseases. Brushing your pet’s teeth with enzymatic toothpaste can reduce the tartar and plaque that lead to dental problems. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet.
What is Enzymatic Toothpaste?
Enzymatic toothpaste is made with glucose oxidase, a common, naturally occurring, enzyme that can be found in honey and pollen. The glucose becomes gluconic acid and creates hydrogen peroxide, which contains antibacterial properties. Enzymatic toothpaste for dogs is available in a variety of flavors and it's safe for your dog’s digestive system if swallowed during brushings.
Importance of Brushing with Enzymatic Toothpaste
Brushing your dog’s teeth helps to fight plaque, tartar, halitosis and cavities, and it helps protect your pet’s vital internal organs. Always use a toothbrush and enzymatic toothpaste made for dogs. Never use human toothpaste on your pet’s teeth, because the ingredients can cause stomach problems if your dog swallows the paste.
How to Use Enzymatic Toothpaste
Begin your dental care routine as soon as possible. Be calm, gentle and patient while your dog adjusts to the process. This may require several weeks of daily sessions as you introduce your dog to the toothpaste and toothbrush. Begin by applying a bit of enzymatic toothpaste to your dog’s teeth with your finger to familiarize your pet with the paste. Once he has adjusted, wrap a piece of gauze around your finger, flavor it with a bit of toothpaste and rub it over his teeth. When your pet is comfortable with this process, progress to the toothbrush and toothpaste.
Oral Hygiene and Professional Dental Care
Brush your dog’s teeth every day, or at least three times per week, and try to reach all surfaces. In addition to brushing, include your veterinarian in your dog’s oral health plan. The Veterinary Oral Health Council recommends regular examinations and professional cleanings to help control tartar and plaque. In addition to at-home brushings, incorporate VOHC-approved chew toys into your dog’s life for dental health.
Jennifer Carey holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from an East Coast university. She has written about topics including health, fitness, parenting and pet care since 2005.