Posted by Lora Shaw on February 20, 2017
The thought of brushing your dog’s teeth can be an intimidating one. Is it really necessary? How do you get a dog to sit still? How should the teeth be brushed? These are all too common concerns among pet owners. Fortunately, we can help! Read on to discover the oral care basics that will keep your dog’s teeth in tip-top shape.
For one thing, regular brushing will keep your dog’s breath fresh. While bad breath is relatively common among dogs, it shouldn’t be considered healthy or normal. It only occurs so frequently, because most pet owners neglect their dogs’ oral hygiene.
Additionally, cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly will help keep more serious health problems at bay. For instance, periodontal disease (advanced gum disease) in dogs is associated with kidney, liver, and heart muscle issues.
Because we know you’d like to keep your dog healthy and happy for many years to come, we recommend you aim to brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis.
Select a Toothpaste
Perhaps most importantly, choose a toothpaste your dog likes. Do not use toothpaste formulated for humans, because it’s poisonous to dogs. Instead, select a poultry or malt flavored toothpaste, designed just for pets. Similarly, you’ll want to choose an ultra-soft dog toothbrush rather than share your own!
Get Your Dog Used to the Toothpaste
At a time when your dog is relaxed, let your dog lick the toothpaste off of your finger. Once he’s done, praise him and reward him with a treat. After you’ve done this for a few days, use your finger to rub the toothpaste directly on a front tooth. Again, you’re going to want to do this several days in a row, always rewarding your dog afterward.
Break Out the Toothbrush
Now, you’re ready to introduce the toothbrush. Put toothpaste onto your dog’s toothbrush and allow him to lick it off of there for a week. This will get him acclimated to the brushing tool you’re going to be using. As always, offer your dog praise and a treat afterward. As you’re probably starting to realize, snacks are key to your dog’s compliance!
Finally, you’re ready to start brushing. Brush your dog’s teeth gently at a 45-degree angle. If he starts to become agitated, end your session and try again the next day. You can slowly increase the time you spend brushing until he gets used to it. And yes, as you may have already guessed, reward his behavior afterward with a treat!
Yes! Not only do we offer bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and hair styling, but we also offer brushing for pet parents seeking additional pooch pampering. See our full list of grooming services. And speaking of those grooming services, if you’d like to schedule a grooming session at Pet Palace, get in touch with us today!
About the author
Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.