It might surprise you to know that you should clean your dog’s teeth and that your pet can learn to enjoy the experience! All you need is pet toothpaste, a pet toothbrush, water and a lot of patience! It will take time to familiarise your pooch with the process of brushing but it will be well worth the effort.
Every pet is an individual and so there is no hard and fast rule as to how long it will take to get them comfortable with tooth brushing. Each stage of the training should last for five minutes and should be repeated for at least five days before you move on to the next stage of the learning process.
Introducing the toothpaste
Wash your hands and then smear a small amount of toothpaste onto your index finger. Encourage your pet to lick the toothpaste so they learn to love the taste.
Teaching contact with the mouth
Smear toothpaste on your finger and then gently slide it into your dog’s mouth. Glide your finger over the outer surface of the gums and teeth. Don’t go further into the mouth than you pet is comfortable with. Repeat several times moving further back into the mouth each time until your dog is more relaxed with what you are doing.
Introducing the toothbrush
Wet the toothbrush and add some toothpaste. Allow your dog to lick some of the paste from the brush. Gently hold your dog’s mouth around the muzzle and begin brushing the canine teeth only and using an up and down motion.
Brushing the back teeth
When your dog is accustomed to having their canines brushed you can start moving along the teeth behind them using a circular motion. Only progress as far back as your pet is comfortable with. Keep repeating the process and moving further back.
Brushing all teeth
Eventually your pet should be comfortable enough to allow you to tackle all of their teeth. The front of the mouth is the most sensitive area and there is no point trying to brush there until your pet is happy with you cleaning their other teeth. To clean the front teeth, hold the dog’s mouth closed around the muzzle and gently lift the upper lip. Many dogs will be very sensitive in this area so you should proceed gently and with caution. Brush the front teeth using an up and down motion. Build-up the duration of the brush over time.
It is best to clean your pet’s teeth every day to protect them from a build-up of plaque and decay. Inflamed gums may bleed a little when you brush but this is not painful for the dog and the bleeding should stop after a couple of weeks. Brushing is by far the best way to take care of your dog’s teeth but some animals simply won’t allow you to do it. if this is the case, provide dental chews to help remove any plaque and try an oral rinse to supplement the effects of the chews.
At Time for Paws we have a range of dental products to help you look after your dog’s teeth.