We hated brushing our teeth as kids, and some us hate brushing our teeth now. So why do we do it? Well, obviously because our teeth will eventually fall out if we don’t. The same thing goes for dogs. Many people are unaware of this, but poor hygiene is a leading cause of premature death in dogs. This makes it very important to brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. Here, I hope to shed a little light on how to go about brushing your dogs teeth.
Ideally, you want to start brushing your dog’s teeth as soon as you can. If you have puppy, you should start them early so they get used to a toothbrush in their mouths at an early age. The sooner you start on your puppy, the easier it will be when you puppy grows into an adult dog. If your dog is already full grown don’t worry, just be sure to start brushing their teeth now! I suggest eventually getting to brushing your dog’s teeth at least 3 times a week. Every other day would be even better.
First, you want to get your dog used to you putting something in their mouth. I suggest putting your finger in their mouth and rubbing their cheeks and teeth. Do this for as long as you can to get your dog accustomed to foreign objects in their mouth. You can even purchase little rubber finger coverings with little stubs to simulate some gentle brushing. Next, you’ll want to introduce toothpaste to your dog. You can click here for different types of toothpaste for your dog. Place a little bit of the toothpaste on your finger, and gently start rubbing your dogs teeth with your finger. Remember, there’s a good chance that your dog will put up a fuss. This is quite normal, so please be patient.
Next, you’ll want your dog to get accustomed to the toothbrush you plan to use. Again, you can find a nice little toothbrush for your dog here. Place a little bit of the toothpaste on the toothbrush, and start to brush a few teeth at a time with a circular motion and making sure to brush gum line. As the days go by, you’ll want to increase the amount of teeth being brushed until you finally brush all the teeth. Make sure that you reach the teeth in the way back also. This is where most of the tartar will be. Brushing the inside of teeth is also important, but most tartar buildup occurs on the outside of the teeth. The goal is to be able to brush each section of teeth for about 30 seconds or so.
An important tip is for YOU to decide when the brushing stops. If your dog starts to shake their head and fuss about, don’t make this the stopping point. All you are doing is teaching the dog that fussing will make you stop brushing their teeth. YOU must decide when the brushing stops, not your dog. Brushing teeth may not be as fun as playing fetch at the park, but if you love your dog, you will brush their teeth religiously.