Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is a great way to keep his gums and teeth healthier and fight gum disease. Introducing tooth brushing gradually will mean he will learn to enjoy the experience.
What you will need to brush your dog’s teeth
- A toothbrush with medium bristles and the correct size:
- - Medium and large dogs – adult (people) size
- - Small dogs – child’s size brush
- - Toy or miniature dogs – small special pet toothbrush.
- Pet Toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste).
- A quiet place without distractions.
- A little time and patience.
Some important tips before starting brushing your dog’s teeth:
- Keep each session short – from a few seconds to a maximum of a couple of minutes.
- Pick a time which suits your daily routine and try to keep it as your usual time to brush. It doesn’t matter when in the day you do the brushing.
- Repeat each stage daily until your dog is comfortable with it and then for a few more days beyond. Then you can move on to the next stage. You may do the established stage first and then continue into the new stage when introducing a new stage.
- Every dog is different – so train at a pace which suits your dog. You can always go back a stage.
- Give lots of praise and a reward but only for good behaviour.
1. Introducing the pet toothpaste
- Smear a small amount of toothpaste on your fingertip.
- Allow your dog to lick the toothpaste. He should like the taste and be keen to eat it.
2. Getting him used to something in his mouth
- Place some toothpaste on your fingertip.
- With your other hand gently hold his muzzle to keep the mouth mostly closed.
- Insert your finger under the top lip on the side of the face.
- Rub your fingertip on the teeth.
- Don’t allow the mouth to open or you may get your finger chewed.
- Slide your finger further back inside the cheeks (Do not do this if there is any risk that you could be bitten). If your dog won’t sit still when you hold his muzzle, you should seek some behavioural advice.