How To Brush A Jack Russell Terriers Teeth And Why It Is Important

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how to brush jack russells teeth
Image via Flickr: Eric Sonstroem

It’s something many of us simply ignore and avoid doing, however brushing your Jack Russell’s teeth should be something that you do as often as possible. Caring for Jack Russell Terriers oral hygiene can be fun, easy and part of their routine. Check out our article below on how to brush Jack Russell’s teeth which will help you in caring for your their teeth and gums.

Its Easier Than You Think

The main reason why 90% of us don’t brush our dog’s teeth or take the right level of care for their oral hygiene is that we think it is too difficult! Well it’s not and it’s a lot easier than you think! Sure it might be a little tricky the first few times and they may be a little stubborn and not enjoy you poking around in their mouths. However they often get used to it pretty quickly and there are some great tips below to help you make it fun, effective and part of your Jack Russell’s routine.

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Why Dental Health Is Important To Dogs

  • Serious dental health issues – bad dog oral hygiene can lead to some very nasty and serious health implications and it can be really easily prevented with some simple things.
  • Can affect other parts of the body – The nasty bacteria that is the result of bad oral hygiene can cause havoc to other parts of the body and some of the vital organs. It can travel down the throat and affect organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys.
  • Baby teeth – dogs lose their baby teeth just like humans do, so it is important to take care of their baby teeth so that it isn’t painful or problematic when they fall out and the adult teeth come through. It’s important to start nice and early with good dental hygiene.
  • Improved breath – Whether you like dog kisses or not, a better all-around oral hygiene will improve their breath considerably. A build-up of plaque and tartar can lead to some pretty stinky bad breath that can resemble something from a horror film!
  • Expensive vet bills

By not properly caring for your dog’s teeth and gums and by leaving some of the above conditions to develop, you may find that you are confronted with large vet bills. It’s always best to prevent these problems rather than paying for it later on down the line!

Common dental health problems for Jack Russell Terriers and All Dogs

Surprisingly dogs often face similar oral health problems as humans do! Here are a few of the most common dental hygiene problems for dogs that you should be aware of.

  • Halitosis – also known as bad breath! This is often dismissed as just something dogs have however it is usually a sign that there is an underlying problem. If your dog has breath it is worth checking it out further with your vet.
  • Plaque – Just like in humans which can start building up just hours after the dog eats.
  • Tartar – Is the result of a build-up of plaque, which when reacts to the salt in the saliva turns into tartar. If you let Tartar build up it can lead to serious problems as it grows into bacteria.
  • Gingivitis – Inflammation of the gums that is caused by infections below the gum line. This is often the early stage of gum disease that is called periodontal disease.
  • Periodontitis – Periodontal disease often develops from Gingivitis and if left untreated can lead to tooth loss.
  • Pyorrhoea – this is the advance stage of Periodontal disease which can cause tooth loss and infection in the bone and can spread to other organs.

Tips On Caring For Jack Russell’s Teeth

We often think that caring for your Jack Russell’s teeth is just too hard work and that they won’t let you brush their teeth. Well, he may not do at the beginning, but with some persistence and using some of the tips below, it should become a lot easier to care for your dog’s teeth and to improve their oral hygiene.

1. Start early

Although it is possible to start cleaning your dogs teeth at any age, it is definitely a lot easier to start early on when they are a puppy or soon after you get your dog. They may be a little more stubborn and resistant to letting you shove that toothbrush into their mouth, the older they are. if you haven’t started yet and worried that it is too late, it’s not! We strongly advise you to start now!

2. Make it a routine

In making the cleaning and care of your dog’s teeth a positive routine, they are much more likely to accept it and allow you to clean their teeth, with hopefully less resistance. At the end of the day is often a good time, after their dinner and evening walk so they can go to sleep with a nice clean mouth!

3. A healthy diet

The war against dog oral problems is best fought on different fronts. An easy win is to ensure they have a healthy and balanced diet. Feeding them kibble especially can help as it helps chip away at the plaque and cleans the teeth. Wet food can stick to their teeth so it’s a good idea to mix it up and provide a varied and balanced diet. Feeding them meat can help as meat provides enzymes that may help keep the mouth nice and healthy.

4. Chews and treats

The best option to aid in helping your dogs teeth would be raw bones. They are natural, healthy and help clean their teeth. Treats and chews made from rawhide are also great, however, make sure you choose a rawhide product that is of higher quality and has reduced nasty ingredients as they can often be very unhealthy for your dog!

Tips On Brushing Jack Russell Terrier’s Teeth

1. Use the right tooth bush

Make sure to use the right toothbrush that is designed for dogs. Never use a human toothbrush as this will often aggravate the gums and is more painful for your dog.

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2. Use the right toothpaste

Again never use human toothpaste. There are loads of toothpaste out there that are designed specifically for dogs. Some even come with enticing flavourings!

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3. Make sure they are nice and relaxed

Brushing your dog’s teeth will go smoother if you and your dog are nice and relaxed. Choose a time of the day that is best suited and they are nice and tired and well-fed. Perhaps after their dinner and evening walk.

 4. Start off slow

A good way of getting them used to the toothpaste is by introducing a little amount to them to try first. This works well if you are using a dog toothpaste that has some tasty flavour to it

5. It’s all about the gums!

Lift the outer lips so that you can have good access to the gums. By using your finger (the one without the paste on it!) you can lift up the lips and you will be able to have a clear view on what’s going on and the areas that need cleaning.

6. Be Gentle

It’s key that you are gentle with the brushes as you don’t want to hurt them or to cause bleeding in the gums.

7. Go for the outside

It’s perfectly fine to just focus on the outside of the dog’s teeth (facing the gums) as most dogs won’t tolerate brushing the inside of their teeth.

8. Finish with something tasty and lots of praise

Once you are all done, give them a nice treat, lots of praise and engage them with some positive attention. This will help them associate brushing their teeth with something positive and they also deserve it after being so brave!

Video On How To Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

Sometimes it’s just easier to be shown how to clean your dog’s teeth. The video below explains the importance of caring for your dog’s oral hygiene as well as tips on how to brush their teeth.