How to Brush Your Dogs Teeth
Tooth brushing is the gold standard in home dental care for pets, just like in people it is essential for removal of plaque to prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay. Taking an active role in your dog’s dental care will help reduce dental disease, bad breath, and potentially life-threatening heart and kidney disease. Everyone wins.
Dog home dental care should include daily brushing using an enzymatic pet toothpaste and a proper toothbrush.
Step one is to pick an appropriate pet toothbrush.
The ideal dog toothbrush will have a long handle, an angled head to better fit the mouth, and extra soft bristles. For dogs less than 13kg, a finger toothbrush that fits over the tip of your finger works well. The bristles on a child’s toothbrush are usually too hard for dogs
Step two is to select an appropriate toothpaste.
It is important not to use human toothpaste to prevent accidental toxicities. The best pet toothpastes contain enzymes that help control plaque. Fluoride may be incorporated to help control bacteria. Place the toothpaste between the bristles as this allows the paste to spend the most time next to the teeth and gums.
Step three is to get the brush with paste into your dog’s mouth to get all the teeth brushed.
Most dogs accept brushing if they are approached in a gentle manner. If you can start when they are young, it’s quite easy, but even older pets will accept the process.
Start slowly; you can use a damp washcloth or piece of gauze to wipe the teeth, front and back in the same manner you will eventually be using the toothbrush. Praise your dog during the process and offer teeth-healthy treats, such as dental chews, as a reward.
Do this twice daily for two weeks, or until your dog is familiar with the approach. Then take the pet toothbrush, soak it in warm water and start brushing daily for several days. When your dog accepts this brushing, add the pet toothpaste.
Most attention should be given to the outside of the upper teeth. The toothbrush bristles should be placed at the gum margin where the teeth and gums meet at a 45-degree angle. The movement should be in an oval pattern. Be sure to gently place the bristle ends into the area around the base of the tooth as well as into the space between the teeth.
Complete ten short back and forth motions, then move the brush to a new location. Cover three to four teeth at a time.
If in doubt ask us to give you a demonstration when you come in next for a health check. If your pets teeth are really stained and if they have bad breath then it would be worth coming in for a dental check.
We offer FREE Dental Checks with one of our qualified nurses.
Call to book an appointment 08 8340 0388 (online booking not available for Free Checks)