How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

To keep your dog’s teeth clean, a number of steps are required.  First, of course, is healthy food.  This will reduce, and even eliminate, the need to brush your dog’s teeth.

But if you do need to brush your dog’s teeth, you’ll need a good dog toothbrush, a good dog toothpaste, and an effective method for getting the dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste onto your dog’s teeth!

So what do you need to know about brushing your dog’s teeth?

Well, first of all, as I said, you need to feed your dog raw, healthy food – raw meat and bones, with some raw vegetables and a little fruit from time to time.  If you feed your dog convenience food, make sure you feed natural, premium dog food – not the commercial dogfood found in your supermarket or even dogfood recommended or sold by your vet.

If your dog eats healthy, premium, preferably raw food, then the need for brushing your dog’s teeth will be reduced – and quite probably eliminated.

But many people do find that their dog’s teeth do need brushing regularly (or from time to time).

So how do you brush your dog’s teeth?

Step one is to select an appropriate pet toothbrush. Definitely don’t buy a child’s toothbrush for this purpose – they’re invariably too hard for dogs. The ideal dog toothbrush will have a long handle, an angled head to better fit the mouth and extra soft bristles. Another option is the finger toothbrush that fits over the tip of your finger.  But either way, go to your pet store or your vet, and buy a specialized dog toothbrush.

Step two is to select an appropriate toothpaste. The best pet toothpastes contain enzymes that help control plaque. Try to avoid toothpastes with baking soda, detergents, or salt which are common ingredients in some brands of human toothpastes. Fluoride is acceptable, as it helps control bacteria. Rather than placing the paste on top of the brush try to place it between the bristles. This allows the paste to spend the most time next to the teeth.  So push it in!

Step three is to get the brush with paste into your dog’s mouth and all the teeth brushed. Most dogs accept brushing if they are approached in a gentle manner. If you can start when they are young, it’s generally relatively easy, but even older dogs will accept the process so long as your approach is gentle, and you’re prepared to persevere.

Start off slowly, using a washcloth or piece of gauze to wipe the teeth, front and back in the same manner you will eventually be using the toothbrush. Do this twice daily for about two weeks and your dog should be familiar with the approach.

Then take the dog toothbrush, soak it in warm water and start brushing daily for several days – without any toothpaste.

Finally, once your dog accepts this brushing, you can add the dog toothpaste, and you’re away!

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