WRITTEN BY MOLLY| EVERYTHINGSHIHTZU.COM
Most of us already know that brushing your Shih Tzu's silky coat is an essential part of their grooming.
In fact, if you have a Shih Tzu, then you probably are no stranger to the fact that your pup needs regular grooming to keep their beautiful coat in tip top shape.
But how about brushing his
teeth? Are we as diligent in brushing his teeth on a regular basis?
Admittedly I wasn't very good about taking care of my dogs choppers as I should have been in the early years, but that was mostly because I really didn't understand the importance of it or even know how to brush a dog's teeth for that matter.
Brushing a dog’s teeth is sometimes easier said than done, but after doing it a few times, it's really not all that hard.
The biggest thing that will make brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth easier is establishing a routine with your dog early. Take baby steps to introduce them to the idea and get used to the tools.
Then stay consistent with your
teeth brushing routine, and of course, have lots of treats on hand for rewards!
Nothing about taking care of your precious canine companion should cause you anxiety.
If you find that you dread the thought of brushing your pup’s teeth, you may need to take some time to train yourself as well as your pup to calm down.
Dogs sense their owner’s emotions, and if your Shih Tzu picks up on the fact that you’re stressed, she is more likely to be nervous too.
Instead of having a panic attack every time you reach for your dog’s toothbrush, try out these steps to brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth.
When you brush your dog’s teeth, start by lifting her lip to expose her teeth and gums.
Then, using a finger brush, use gentle motions to brush your dog’s teeth and gums, just like you would brush your own teeth.
It’s unlikely your dog is going to let you brush the back of her teeth, so concentrate your efforts on the outer surfaces.
Don’t forget to reach the back teeth!
Tartar can accumulate quickly on these hard to reach molars, as well as on the upper canines, so make sure to show those teeth some extra special attention!
As you brush your dog’s teeth, talk to her in a reassuring voice and stay calm and cool so your dog remains relaxed.
If despite all of your efforts, your dog still resists having her teeth brushed, there are some alternatives.
You can use dental chews, special dog food designed to fight tartar buildup, solutions that can be added to your pet’s water, and more.
These options can definitely help care for your pet’s teeth, but they should be viewed as a supplement to brushing her teeth.
It’s important to realize that nothing is a substitution for good, daily brushing.
The answer is a resounding yes!
Your Shih Tzu should have her teeth professionally cleaned at least once a year.
If your dog is more susceptible to dental health issues, more regular visits may be necessary.
Not only do professional cleanings help to maximize the health of your pup’s teeth by fighting tartar buildup, gingivitis, and gum disease, but they are also an opportunity to gain a clear picture of your dog’s overall health.
These steps are sure to help make brushing your Shih Tzu's teeth more manageable and less intimidating.
Remember, it's a necessary part of caring for your pet.
A dog’s oral health, similar to humans, plays a large role in her overall health -- not to mention it helps banish nasty doggy breath!
Proper oral hygiene can help prevent serious canine dental issues, infections, and other health issues like organ failure and heart disease, providing your dog with the opportunity to live a long and happy life!