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If you’re not already brushing your dog’s teeth, you should start after he’s had a professional cleaning by a vet (or, ideally, when he’s still a young pup). You’ll need the following items, which you can purchase at a pet supply store or from your veterinarian. How to brush a dog’s teeth that hates being brushed? It’s no secret that dogs hate having their teeth brushed. There are some tips for brushing dogs’ teeth that you can do to make brushing your dog’s teeth an easier and a more pleasant experience for you and Fido.
- Brushing dogs’ teeth requires a lot of patience and timing if your dog is still getting used to it. Get down to his level, introduce the concept gradually, use positive reinforcement, and establish a routine.
- Choose the right tools. Doggy toothpaste, available in flavors like liver and chicken, is safe for ingestion and avoids upsetting the dog’s stomach. Use specialized dog toothbrushes or finger toothbrushes for effective cleaning.
- Professional cleanings should be considered at least once a year.
Maintaining optimal dental health for our furry companions can be quite the challenge, as I’ve discovered through my own experiences with my stubborn pup. Brushing my dog’s teeth without invoking a wrestling match was no easy feat. However, I’ve learned that setting a routine is crucial when brushing dogs’ teeth.
Initially, I tried timing it to when my dog was calm and relaxed, but that was short lived once the little guy caught sight of the brush. That required a fair amount of patience on my part. Eventually, I learned to get down to his level, gently stroking his fur to soothe him, and slowly introducing my fingers to his mouth. Gradually, he grew accustomed to the sensation, and I could feel the tension easing. The key is to make tooth brushing a positive experience, such as by using tasty dog toothpaste and rewarding him with treats afterward. Read on to pick up more of the tried and tested tips I learned from my own experiences with brushing my stubborn dog’s teeth.
Find The Right Kind Of Doggy Toothpaste
Minty toothpaste for humans is
meant to be spit out—which your pooch can’t do—so don’t use it, since if your dog ingests it, it can upset his stomach. Fortunately, dog toothpaste is very readily available, and comes in lovely, dog-digestible flavors like liver and chicken. These toothpastes are made specifically for pets and do not contain harmful ingredients such as fluoride and xylitol. However, some of them can get a little pricey, so you may want to try your hand at making your own homemade dog toothpaste.
Is Doggy Toothpaste Good for Your Dog’s Health?
Once you get your dog used to it, the ideal scenario is for pet owners to thoroughly brush their pearly canine teeth for a minute or two every day. Plaque that can’t be removed with a toothbrush can build up in as few as three days, so it’s important to brush at least every other day.
Why Is Human Toothpaste Bad For Dogs?
Human toothpaste can be very dangerous for pet dogs. Many pet parents think that they are doing their pet a favor by brushing his or her teeth just like they would do to themselves. Toothpaste made for pet consumption is not the same as human toothpaste. Especially the ingredients in it which can be harmful, and even fatal, to dogs.
One of the main ingredients in toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride is toxic to dogs and can cause serious health problems, including seizures, coma, and even death. Peanut butter is often used as a means of getting pet dogs to cooperate with tooth brushing—but it also contains harmful ingredients for dogs. Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in it, is also toxic to dogs and can cause liver damage, seizures, and even death.
The Art of Dog Tooth-brushing: Step by Step
Once you’ve got a dog toothbrush and toothpaste, you should make the pet dental care routine as relaxed and fun as possible. If you get in the habit of brushing your dog’s teeth right before giving him a treat or taking him for a walk, he might actually look forward to the experience.
- Don’t try to brush your pet’s teeth right away. The first day, dab a bit of toothpaste on your finger and let him dog lick it off, praising him while he does so. Give him a treat when he’s finished. If he doesn’t like the flavor, you may need to try another kind. Repeat this step each day until your dog looks forward to licking the toothpaste.
- Put some toothpaste on your fingertip and then gently run it along your dog’s gums. You may both be more comfortable if you start at the front of your dog’s mouth and work back. Repeat this step for a couple of days, or until your dog seems comfortable with it.
- Now you can actually use the toothbrush. Put a dab of toothpaste on it, and then angle the bristles up along your dog’s upper front teeth so they get below the gum line. Make small circles with the brush along the gum line. This should take less than 30 seconds .
- It is important to stop brushing before your dog becomes resistant; remember, you want this to be a pleasant experience for him. If he figures out that fussing will make you stop brushing, then this procedure will become more challenging for you. Repeat this next step until your dog is comfortable with the toothbrush.
- Repeat this process on your dog’s lower front teeth.
- The day after that, repeat the process on your dog’s upper back teeth. The back teeth are where tartar and plaque tend to accumulate, so it’s important to brush this area as thoroughly as possible. Since dogs don’t get much tartar on the inside surfaces of their teeth, you should concentrate more on the outside surfaces.
- Repeat the process on your dog’s lower back teeth.
- Once your dog is comfortable with having sections of his mouth brushed, you can try brushing his entire mouth. If he’s resistant, go back to doing sections until he’s more comfortable.
Treats To Make Your Dog Look Forward to Brushing
The best treats are ones that can also help eliminate plaque buildup between brushings, such as dental chews (make sure they’re accepted by the Veterinary Dental Oral Health Council), rope toys, and rawhide chips .
How often to brush your dog’s teeth
This is a question that dog owners often ask, but there really isn’t one definitive answer. Dog teeth are very different from human teeth. Some veterinarians recommend brushing dogs teeth every day, while others say every other day is sufficient. The important thing is to be consistent with the brushing routine. So your dog gets used to it and it becomes a regular part of his or her routine.
When to Consider Professional Cleaning
It’s also important to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned at least once a year. This will remove any plaque or tartar that has built up and can’t be removed with brushing. Bad breath might indicate dental disease or other major health issues. Regular dental cleaning can help prevent teeth and gums disease and other dental problems in dogs.
Some More Doggy Toothbrushing Tips
- To ensure good dog dental health, avoid giving your pooch table scraps or sweet treats. Not only are they potentially dangerous for him, they can increase tartar and plaque too.
- Even with regular teeth brushing, dogs, like people, should have their teeth professionally cleaned once a year. And in every step, you should use lots of praise and positive reinforcement for the dog.
- If you’re looking to whip up a quick batch of homemade doggy toothpaste in a pinch, use baking soda. It is a natural tooth cleanser that people have used for centuries before toothpaste was invented, and it’s still as useful for dental hygiene today as it was back then. It can be just as effective at removing plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth as regular dog toothpaste.
To use baking soda, simply combine a teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of water and stir until it dissolves. Then, wet your toothbrush in the baking soda solution and brush your dog’s teeth as usual.And, more importantly, you’ll be helping to keep their teeth healthy and prevent tooth decay.
For more doggy hygiene tips, read about our story on dog grooming and other healthcare articles.