Some dogs dislike having their mouths handled. If your Vizsla doesn’t like you touching his mouth, you can start with just flipping his cheek flap up and then praising him and giving him a treat. Do this several times a day so that he becomes used to your touching his lips.
Note: If your Vizsla starts chewing on things he’s not supposed to, consider making an appointment with the vet to see if there’s something wrong with his teeth. Dogs can’t tell you it hurts, so they try to alleviate the pain by chewing.
Once he is used to your touching his mouth, get a washcloth and wet the corner. Hold the washcloth so that your index finger is on the corner. Flip up your Vizsla’s lip and gently touch his gums with the corner of the washcloth. Give him a treat. Do this several times a day and gradually lengthen the time you touch his gums with the washcloth. If he tolerates that, try gently massaging his gums with the wet washcloth.
Once he lets you rub his gums, it is time for a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use a toothbrush specially made for pets (some slip over the fingers) and use special pet toothpaste. (Don’t use human toothpaste because it is toxic to your Vizsla.) Most pet toothpastes are either malt or chicken flavored, so it’ll be quite a treat. Brush his teeth in a circular motion, and don’t forget to brush the gums as well. Your Vizsla doesn’t have to rinse and spit.
If you care for your Vizsla’s teeth, it is less likely he’ll have to visit the doggie dentist. Still, a variety of factors are involved in determining whether your Vizsla will have healthy teeth. These include:
- Genetics– Heredity plays a role in whether a dog has good teeth.
- Diet– A good diet can prevent some dental disease.
- Disease– Some diseases can actually weaken the enamel on the tooth.
- Accidents or fights– Teeth can be broken in an accident or a dogfight.
- Dental care– Brushing your Vizsla’s teeth can keep the doggy dentist at bay.
Even if your Vizsla has the best of teeth, you should still be on the lookout for dental problems. Signs of a possible dental problem include these:
- Lack of appetite
- Foul breath
- Swollen gums
- Change in chewing or eating habits
- Sudden grumpiness
- Red gums
- Chipped or broken tooth
Talk to your vet about dental hygiene and your Vizsla. He or she may be able to make recommendations for diet and brushing teeth.