A Rottie owner needs to brush their dogs’ teeth at least once per week to stave off tartar accumulation. This minimum level of dental care helps your dog’s teeth and gums stay healthy.
Rottweilers tend to develop gum disease although they rarely develop cavities. You can more easily brush the teeth of a trained Rottweiler who has grown accustomed to regular grooming.
Making this process a step in weekly grooming that also includes ear cleaning and skin care can help your dog remain healthier, resulting in lower vet bills. Each canine will still need an annual checkup.
Some sources say you should brush your Rottweilers’ teeth daily, others say twice per day, but most dog parents don’t have that kind of time, nor will most dogs allow you to do so. If you train your dog accordingly though, you can strike a happy medium.
A Dose of Reality – Brushing a Rottie’s Teeth
The Rottweiler personality lends itself to serious protection. Your dog loves you but like most dogs, you’ll have to work with him or her to reach the point where you can brush their teeth. This requires working with your dog to make it feel comfortable with grooming.
Most vets recommend that you begin teaching your Rottie the grooming process as soon as you bring them home.
Puppies provide more amenable to teaching than fully grown dogs who became set in their ways. Older dogs may find it tough to develop the needed trust levels to let you hold their face, open their jaw wide, and reach inside with a long, foreign object – the toothbrush.
When puppies, a dog owner can easily train a Rottweiler to let them pick them up and handle their jaw and mouth.
Brushing their teeth when they’re small also provides you an opportunity to bond with your puppy. Between brushing their teeth, and their coat, and cleaning their ears regularly, your Rottie will develop a strong trust bond with you.
This breed of dog has fewer teeth as a puppy than when fully grown. Your baby dog has 28 teeth while a grown Rottweiler has 44. The adult teeth begin cutting in at about 12 weeks of age and finish by six months of life.
The daily or weekly dental hygiene you do with your dog also lets you improve their health. That’s because you examine the dog’s mouth fully while spending this quality time together.
You should examine the following parts of your Rottweiler’s face during this dental hygiene session:
- top of the mouth.
If you note any sores, scratches, developing cavities, or unusual gum color, call your veterinarian for an appointment. These could be early signs of dental disease or something more serious.
Supplies You’ll Need to Brush Your Rottweiler’s Teeth
You will need to purchase special dental supplies specifically made for a large breed dog, such as a Rottie. This includes a special toothbrush and dog toothpaste. You have three options for the toothbrush design.
1. Standard pet toothbrush for large-breed dogs, which looks a lot like a human’s toothbrush except its bristle area consists of about twice the size and the number of bristles as a human’s.
2. A gauze-like material that you wrap around your finger to clean each tooth manually.
3. A finger toothbrush that slips over your finger is similar to the way a sewing thimble does so you can clean each tooth manually.
A note on dog toothbrushes: You cannot use a human toothbrush because you will harm the dog’s teeth and gums with it. A dog’s teeth and gums prove more sensitive than a human’s.
Dog toothbrushes use extremely soft bristles that are even softer than those for human babies. You could tear your dog’s gum trying to use a human toothbrush.
Dog toothpaste differs from human toothpaste in ingredients and flavors. Using human toothpaste can make your dog ill. Pick up a toothpaste made for dogs with a flavor enhancer, such as malt flavor or poultry flavor.
The treat-like taste of this toothpaste can cause your dog to enjoy the dental hygiene experience. They’ll tolerate more if they like the taste.
Wear a shirt you don’t care about getting dirty. Dogs tend to slobber a bit while brushing. You’ll also probably get a bit of toothpaste on yourself. Your dog may paw or claw at you a bit while learning to tolerate teeth care. Expect to get messy the first few weeks.
The supplies cost little. You can buy these items at your vet’s or online. You can purchase a kit by Arm & Hammer that also includes a tube of toothpaste for less than $10.
How to Teach Your Dog to Let You Brush Its Teeth
Rottweilers prove very similar to small children. Just as you can train a typical toddler in oral care, you can train a Rottie. These dogs rank as one of the 10 smartest breeds in the world.
They can learn up to 165 words and hand signals plus they’re fiercely protective of their dog parents. For these reasons, they top many lists as ideal for security and as guard dogs.
Start teaching your puppy the day you adopt him or her by letting the dog watch you brush your teeth. You may laugh but they, like babies and toddlers, learn by watching and instruction. Once you’ve brushed your teeth, you brush the puppy’s teeth.
1. Make the puppy or dog feel comfortable. Pet the dog. Love on him or her.
2. Pick up the puppy or for a large dog, sit in a chair facing the dog.
3. Provide a small taste of the doggy toothpaste. This tastes like a treat and pet toothpaste won’t hurt them to swallow. Let the dog lick this off of your finger.
4. While the dog pays attention to you, show them that you’re putting more of the treat on the doggy toothbrush.
5. Lift one side of your dog’s jowls to reveal teeth, using your thumb on the hand that’s holding the puppy or the hand without the toothbrush if you’re seated in front of your dog.
6. Quickly brush your dog’s exposed teeth with the brush. The first time you try this, the dog may balk. Don’t worry. You’ll both have to get used to doing this.
7. Lift the other side of your dog’s jowls to reveal their teeth and repeat the process.
8. Praise your puppy or dog for being so good. Give a treat, such as dental chew that further cleans the teeth and tastes great.
Expect to practice with your puppy at least once per day until they become comfortable with letting your handle them. Older dogs may need to overcome trust issues and this may take longer.
All bonding that you and your dog do will go a long way to their becoming amenable to tooth brushing.
What to Do on the Days You Don’t Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?
Your dog probably won’t complain that she or he doesn’t have to sit still for this but supplementing their oral care with other things on the days you can’t brush their teeth helps keep their mouths healthy. Here are a few ideas:
- Rawhide chews,
- Dental chews,
- Dog biscuits or bones,
- Dog food is formulated to reduce plaque and tartar,
- Gumabones, Kong toys, and Plaque Attackers.
Why Does Dog Oral Care Matter?
Dogs, like people, can develop gum disease and dental issues. Your canine friend can’t brush on his or her own, so you need to help.
Regular brushing of a dog’s teeth helps prevent the same issues that occur to humans, such as tartar buildup. Regular brushing helps prevent plaque, too. Brushing the dog’s teeth also helps prevent bad breath.
It’s Time to Brush
Now that you know that your Rottie needs daily to weekly oral hygiene, get started. Your local pet store or vet probably carries the items you need.
The sooner you start, the better your dog’s health becomes. Remember, if you notice particularly bad breath returning after brushing or your dog having trouble eating or chewing, make a vet appointment.
Those signs of an illness can point to a dental issue that a vet dental appointment can clear up.