Dental care is an important part of caring for a dog. And let’s face it, you can’t count on them to brush their own teeth! Follow these 5 steps to making brushing your dog’s teeth a breeze.
5 Steps To Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
Have a canine toothbrush and canine toothpaste on hand. You can buy these items at pet supply stores. Canine toothpaste comes in different flavors, such as chicken, beef or peanut butter. (Resist the urge to use human toothpaste instead since this stuff isn’t meant to be swallowed and is unhealthy for your dog.) A canine toothbrush looks like a human toothbrush, although the handle is longer on the dog toothbrush and is more curved. You can also use a rubber finger brush, which is a cap that fits over your finger. Gauze wrapped around your finger is a substitute for a toothbrush and finger brush, although the finger brush and gauze are not as effective as a toothbrush when it comes to removing plaque.
Get comfortable. If you have never brushed your dog’s teeth before, he may be confused as to what you are doing. You may need help keeping him still while you are at work. Get a helper to assist you, and put your dog in a position that is comfortable for all of you. Do it in a room that is quiet and without distractions. Have your helper hold the dog while you work.
Gain access. Wet the toothbrush and dab a little toothpaste on it. Use one hand to lift your dog’s lip so you can see his teeth. If your dog struggles, tell him “no” or “wait.” When he is still, tell him he’s a good boy. Once he tastes the doggy toothpaste, he should start to be more cooperative.
Start brushing. Gently rub your dog’s teeth and gums with the brush, covering a couple of teeth at a time. Make sure you brush the area where the tooth attaches to the gum since this is where plaque causes the most problems. Brush your dog’s teeth the same way you would brush your own: by using a back and forth or circular motion.
Make sure you get to all of the teeth. Brush all of your dog’s teeth, especially those in the back since the molars are the teeth most prone to periodontal disease. A good way to circulate around your dog’s mouth is to start with the top teeth and then move to the teeth on the bottom jaw next. You will probably need to put more toothpaste on your brush as you work your way around your dog’s mouth.