Dog Dental Health: Toothbrushing 101

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So, you want to improve your dog’s dental health routine by adding brushing their teeth — great! Brushing your pet’s teeth helps improve their oral health by leaps and bounds, with the added benefit of improving their breath so that their frequent kisses are a pleasure, not a chore to endure. However, starting a dog dental health regimen can be daunting, especially if you have an older dog that is not used to receiving that kind of attention and care. In this article, we’ll go over some tips for starting to brush your dog’s teeth and how to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Dog Dental Health: Toothbrushing 101

Daily brushing is recommended to promote the best possible dog dental health, but getting to that point may take some time. If your dog has never or rarely had their teeth brushed, it’s a good idea to start out by letting them taste-test their toothpaste. You should purchase dog-friendly toothbrushes and toothpaste (human toothpaste is toxic for them) and place a small dab of the toothpaste on your finger for them to lick off. Make this a part of their routine every day for a few days until they come to expect the dab of toothpaste as part of their daily life.

You should also start to include gently rubbing their teeth and gums with just your finger (no toothpaste) a few times per day, including after their toothpaste tasting. Once they have become accustomed to this, you can start to use the toothbrush instead of your finger.

The final step is to begin actually brushing their teeth, using gentle circular motions. Start at the front and slowly work your way to their back teeth, and be sure you brush the front and back of each tooth. Finish the process with praise or playtime with their favourite toy to really establish the routine as a positive part of their day. Like brushing your own teeth, a good dog dental health routine should be relatively inexpensive and quick and is a great step towards better overall health for your beloved pet.