In one of our recent blogs, we gave tips on how to groom a dog at home. Among those tips was the important step of making sure to regularly brush your dog’s teeth. In this blog, we’ll give additional information about how to do so and how coconut oil can be part of that process.
What you need to brush your dog’s teeth
It’s important to note that while brushing your dog’s teeth daily (or as often as possible) is just as important as brushing your own teeth, different supplies will be needed. First and foremost, you’ll need a dog toothbrush with soft bristles, a child’s toothbrush, a finger toothbrush, a cotton swab, or gauze to wrap around your finger as a sort of makeshift finger toothbrush. It’s also important that you never use human toothpaste, baking soda, or salt to brush your dog’s teeth, as these will be harmful to him if he swallows them. Instead, use pet toothpaste that is flavored to taste good to dogs, or use coconut oil!
Natural dog teeth cleaning options
While it’s important to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian at least once a year, you can and should clean your dog’s teeth at home as often as possible as well. (This is also helpful and important in cases where dogs cannot handle anesthesia that is used when professionally cleaning a dog’s teeth.)
To clean your dog’s teeth naturally, at home, mix a solution that is one part hydrogen peroxide and one part aloe vera juice. You’ll then apply that mixture to gauze, a cotton ball, or a cotton swab and rub it on your dog’s teeth where the teeth and gums meet. After two or more weeks of daily application, you’ll find that you are able to chip large pieces of plaque off your dog’s teeth using just a fingernail.
After the plaque has been addressed (and by that, we mean removed), you can maintain your dog’s teeth by brushing them with coconut oil. Use any of the applicators or tools we mentioned in the above section to do this.
Why you should use coconut oil
Coconut oil contains lauric acid which helps fight bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The lauric acid in coconut oil is also known to kill the harmful bacteria Streptococcus mutans that causes tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease in a dog’s mouth. Additionally, it also attacks Lactobacillus which is known to cause tooth decay. But that’s not where the benefits stop.
When you brush your dog’s teeth with coconut oil, you are also giving him a substance that helps aid digestion, improves immune response, supports his joints, and improves skin and coat condition and appearance. As an added bonus, most dogs enjoy the taste of coconut oil!
If you’re reluctant to brush your dog’s teeth with coconut oil or aren’t sure if he’ll like it, you can slowly introduce him to it by letting him lick some off the toothbrush. This will get him used to both it and the toothbrush gradually.
We recommend using Skinny Coconut Oil or Pure Beauty Coconut Oil as they are pure coconut oil. They are also free of the therapeutic-grade essential oils found in many of our other products; we recommend not giving our products with essential oils to your dog, because just as humans might, dogs may have their own reactions to essential oils. Therefore, it’s best to go for the purest coconut oil possible. You’ll also want to remember that a little coconut oil goes a long way, so only use a small amount (a teaspoon or less) when brushing your dog’s teeth, especially depending on the size of your dog.
Finally, please make sure to regularly take your dog to the veterinarian for professional teeth cleaning, and always address any major dental issues with the help of a professional.