A dog’s overall health is one of your primary concerns as a groomer, and this includes oral health! Maintaining a dog’s teeth is extremely important, as it can prevent dental diseases and contribute to his overall quality of life. Whether or not you choose to offer tooth brushing as a dog groomer, you can still advise your clients on how to maintain proper oral hygiene for their pups. Read on for our guide to doggie dental care!
Puppies have a full mouth of sharp baby teeth, and although these don’t need to be cared for (as they are not permanent), it’s a good idea to encourage your client to open their dog’s mouth and rub the gums from time to time. This will allow the puppy to get used to the feeling of having its teeth examined.
Unlike humans, dogs have their permanent teeth in place by 7 or 8 months of age. Keeping teeth and gums healthy from this young age not only ensures that the dog has the best chance of great oral health for the rest of its life, it also allows him to get used to having its teeth cared for.
Offering Oral Care as a Groomer
As a groomer, you can offer an oral care maintenance service to your clients which may include the use of a dental spray and gel to break down plaque and tartar. As well, you can demonstrate actually brushing the dog’s teeth (although this service is more of a cosmetic procedure).
It is extremely important to encourage your clients to keep up their regular veterinary check-ups, and to ensure that the dog’s teeth and gums are part of this exam. As a groomer, you are not a substitute for a veterinarian, as you cannot clean the teeth and gums thoroughly.
Whether or not you choose to offer oral maintenance as a groomer is your choice, but it is important to advise your clients to maintain their dog’s health with proper check-ups by a medical professional.
The Right Toothbrush
The right toothbrush can make all the difference in a dog’s oral health! It is important to note that there are two main types of toothbrushes designed specifically for dogs – one looks like a human toothbrush with a handle and bristles, and the other fits over your fingertip. For larger dogs, the best option is the brush that fits over a fingertip, while the model resembling a human toothbrush will work best for smaller dogs.
After a vet’s evaluation and direction, your clients can maintain their dog’s oral health at home by using the proper toothbrush. Make little circling motions and concentrate on the outside of the teeth. In terms of frequency, your client only really needs to spend a few minutes once or twice a week brushing their dog’s teeth (this is assuming, of course, that they are taking their pup for regular vet check-ups and teeth cleanings). This maintenance in between vet visits ensures that plaque is removed before it accumulates.
Different dogs will have individual reactions to their teeth being brushed. While not every dog hates having its teeth brushed, it is certainly not a ritual that is enjoyable! Starting dental care early on is important, as the dog becomes accustomed to the feeling of its mouth being opened and its gums and teeth being touched. Clients should take their time when brushing their pet’s teeth, and be as gentle as possible. This will make it easier the next time they choose to use the toothbrush.
As a dog groomer, clients trust you to be knowledgeable about the overall health of their pup, which includes the teeth and gums! By providing advice about regular vet visits and tips on caring for their dog’s teeth at home, your clients can ensure their pal’s mouth is in tip-top shape for life!
You have options when starting your dog grooming business!
Casey Bechard of Off The Leash Pet Grooming is a QC Pet Studies graduate. Read all about her favorite breeds and pet haircuts as a certified groomer!
Incorporating your dog into your Halloween plans is a great way to celebrate the holiday. Here are 6 pet safety tips to ensure they’re safe during the fun!