If your dog has bad breath or has been gumming something disgusting (poop seems to be a favorite), you may want to clean their mouth. Not only does your dog require regular dental care and cleaning, but sometimes their gums, jowls, and tongue can harbor dirt and bacteria and smell rather awful!
There are several methods to clean your dog’s mouth, including regular tooth brushing, manual wiping, and using mouthwashes or dental treats that will disinfect, clean, and dislodge debris.
Remember that a dog's saliva naturally neutralizes bacteria and carries it away, so working with this natural defense by providing chew items that increase the production of saliva is often adequate. But there are other things you can do to clean your pup's mouth if it's particularly smelly or dirty.
From your dog’s perspective, their mouth doesn't need cleaning as their saliva cleans their mouth naturally, and if you just give them something to chew on, they're good with that! However, if your dog has been mouthing a filthy item like a dead squirrel or has been rummaging through the cat's litter box, you may want to wipe out their mouth.
Be careful not to shove a large cloth or your hand into your dog's mouth unexpectedly. Besides the fact that your dog will find this startling and may react badly or even defensively, you don't want to cause your dog to gag. Taking your time with cleaning your dog's mouth with smaller items like a toothbrush or a gauze-wrapped finger will be better accepted.
Need expert help brushing your dog's teeth? Book a Grooming service with a Pet Caregiver near you.
Although your dog has natural processes in place to clean their own mouth, sometimes they may need a little extra help if their mouth becomes particularly smelly or covered in some noxious substance. You can clean it directly by wrapping a cloth around your finger and gently wiping it out with salt water, baking soda, or even coconut oil. Be careful not to gag your dog.
Alternatively, you can add mouthwash to your dog's water or increase their natural saliva production with a dental chew. Also, brushing your dog's gums and lips when you clean their teeth daily will keep their mouth spic and span.
Does your furry friend need more than just tooth brushing? Book a Grooming service with a Pet Caregiver near you.