Brushing your dog’s teeth is an important part of keeping them healthy. Many dog owners don’t address their pets’ oral health, however. The veterinarians at The Pet Clinic in Honolulu, HI, understand this task can be difficult if you’re not sure how to proceed or your pet won’t sit still. Below, they share a few tips to make this task easier and more enjoyable for you and your dog.
7 Simple Steps for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
1. Gather Your Supplies
Before you start an oral care routine with your dog, gather all the supplies. Medium-to-large dogs can use a regular adult toothbrush, and small dogs can use a child’s size option. For miniature or toy breeds, use a special pet toothbrush. You also need pet toothpaste, as fluoride is poisonous to dogs.
2. Keep Each Session Short
This is crucial in the beginning while your dog adjusts to your new routine. Spend 30 seconds or less as you introduce your dog to everything, and once you start brushing, don’t do it for more than two minutes. If your dog gets too restless, make your sessions even shorter.
3. Make It Part of Your Daily Routine
You need to brush your dog’s teeth every day to get them comfortable. The time of day doesn’t matter, so long as your dog learns to expect it. You can do it each morning after they’ve eaten breakfast or every night right before bed.
4. Introduce the Toothpaste
After you have your pet toothpaste, let them test it out. Put a small amount on your fingertip and see how they like it. They should lick it right off your finger.
5. Introduce the Toothbrush
Once your dog is used to the toothpaste, get them used to having an object in their mouth. You may want to start with your finger before advancing to the toothbrush. Put a dab of toothpaste on your finger, and while holding the muzzle closed with your other hand, slide the toothpaste along the teeth. You may need to do this a few days in a row before you introduce the toothbrush.
6. Clean a Few Teeth at a Time
After you introduce the toothbrush, wet it and apply toothpaste. Hold the muzzle and gently brush the canine teeth, which are the longest. Practice this with your pup for a few days before you move on to cleaning the teeth further back.
7. Work Up to Brushing all the Teeth
Once you and your dog are both used to brushing the teeth, you can clean all the teeth in one session. This process can take several weeks, and it’s important to remember to scale it back if your dog gets too agitated.
If you’re still hesitant to brush your dog’s teeth, ask the friendly and professional staff at The Pet Clinic to demonstrate for you. They can provide additional tips based on your dog’s size and demeanor. Visit the pet hospital’s website to view all their services, or call them at (808) 946-5096 to schedule an appointment with one of their veterinarians.