Learn how to brush your dog’s teeth today! Making sure your dog has good oral health is one of the most important responsibilities of every dog owner. Many of the common dog illnesses come from bad oral hygiene especially since dogs stick their noses and mouths in almost everything.
How to Brush Your Dogs Teeth and Some Tips
Our parents always tell us to brush our teeth at least twice a day to keep them clean and healthy. We eat food every day. We sometimes even use them when we tear open a packet, hold our pens, and other rather unsanitary things. It makes sense that we should take care of them as much as we can.
Regular teeth brushing is just as important for dogs. As dog owners, we need to make sure that they’re getting proper teeth brushing every week. If we don’t brush our dog’s teeth as regularly as recommended, plaque will start to build up and it may cause several complications such as bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. Should these complications get worse, they will eventually lead to painful infections that can spread and even turn into life-threatening conditions. To make sure that your furbaby gets everything they need, you have to know the steps of proper dog toothbrushing and how you can improve their overall dental health.
Here are 5 steps on how to brush your dog’s teeth
Choose the right time and place
The ideal time to brush your dog’s teeth is when they’re calm and relaxed. You should also pick the right environment to do the job. Look for a place that’s spacious enough for you and your dog to move freely. After picking the right spot and conditions, prepare your tools, your toothbrush, and toothpaste, near you for easy access.
There’s no doubt that there will be some wrestling involved at the beginning! But to avoid that from escalating or even happening the next time, do this step first before undergoing the task. You wouldn’t want to battle with them for around five minutes only to give up in the end. Choosing the right time and environment not only hampers both you and your dog’s moods, but it may also affect your relationship and dynamics with each other.
Massage your pet’s lips, teeth, and gums
Doing this step allows your dog to get used to having their mouth touched in specific areas where you’ll brush them. First, place yourself and your dog in a position that’s comfortable for both of you. With just using your fingers, massage or rub their upper gums and teeth in slow circular motions.
This procedure would be more effective if done a couple of times over a week. Even when you’re not going to brush your dog’s teeth, massaging their lips, teeth, and gums would make them more familiar and comfortable with the sensation. This would, then, lead to a more hassle-free toothbrushing!
Introduce the toothpaste and toothbrush
Much like the previous step, your dog needs to familiarize themselves with the tools and materials that you will put inside their mouth – it’s their fight or flight instincts kicking in. First, touch the toothbrush you’ll be using to their teeth and enact how you would brush their teeth – touch the font, side, and back of the teeth on both the top and bottom parts.
Doing this will help them get accustomed to the feeling. Likewise, place some toothpaste on the toothbrush or your finger and let your dog lick it for the same reasons. Reward your dog with a treat after enduring this step. Doing so would help them be more at ease and comfortable with the succeeding steps. And, of course, being rewarded always helps when overcoming something difficult, no matter how small or big it may be for someone else!
Apply small, circular motion and in short intervals
Now, for the main step, lift up their lip and clean the outside of the teeth and gum line first. Do the top teeth, then to the sides and back. Do the same procedure to the bottom teeth. Most importantly, always focus on the plaque that might be building up! Do these in short intervals with five to ten seconds of breaks in between brushes. Brushing continuously would make them uncomfortable and uneasy and would likely lead to a wrestle, which we’re trying to avoid as much as possible. During your pauses, always give them positive and cheerful reinforcement! At this stage, your dog might still be uneasy so giving them constant reassurance would do a great help at brushing their teeth.
Give them a reward
Congratulations! You’ve finally finished brushing your dog’s teeth! This is the most important time when you should be reassuring and comforting to your dog. Some examples of showing positive reinforcement are giving extra attention and, of course, giving treats! There are some particular chews and treats that actually help fight plaque buildup!
Dog Teeth Cleaning Tips
- It’s recommended that you brush your dog’s teeth at least two to three times a week.
- Try feeding your dog more dry food. Doing so would actually improve their oral health as compared to feeding them soft food. Soft food will most likely stick to their teeth, while dry food will not.
- Consult with your veterinarian if you’re having difficulties brushing your dog’s teeth. They might recommend you Dog Dental Treats and Chews to help with your dog’s oral hygiene!
- Likewise, you should definitely consider taking your dog to at least an annual veterinarian oral checkup and full cleaning.
Good dental care doesn’t start and stop at brushing. Don’t forget to ease up on your dog while doing these procedures. Comfort them and reward them for tolerating such steps that may be difficult for them to adjust to. Remember, it’s not about asserting dominance over the other. Rather, it’s a cooperative measure to help one another! Now you know how to brush your dogs’ teeth! Let us know your dog teeth cleaning experience in the comments below.