Guide to Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

You’re probably aware that regularly brushing your teeth results in a nicer-looking smile and better breath. Brushing also helps to prevent potentially serious periodontal disease. You can help your dog receive these same benefits by creating a regular tooth-brushing routine for him. You’ll only need a few inexpensive supplies and a calm setting without distractions. The instructions are easy to follow, and your Reynoldsburg veterinarian will be happy to give you extra pointers if needed.

Toothbrushing Supplies – Buy special doggie toothpaste flavored with chicken, liver, or peanut butter. Don’t use human toothpaste, as it might upset his tummy if he ingests the paste. Purchase a small, flexible plastic brush that fits over your finger. Also, look for a handled canine toothbrush made for your small or large dog’s mouth. Look for these supplies at your Reynoldsburg vet’s office before you visit pet supply stores.

Pre-Brushing Prep – Get your dog acquainted with your fingers (or the finger brush) in his mouth. Coat your fingers with something he likes, such as peanut butter or chicken broth. While he’s busy licking it off, gently rub your fingers against the outside of his gums and teeth. When he seems comfortable with the process, dab a small bit of canine toothpaste on your finger, and allow him to get used to the paste’s feel and taste.

Start Brushing – Squeeze a bit of toothpaste on the doggie toothbrush, and gently rub or brush the outside of your dog’s gums and teeth. After a few seconds, stop brushing and praise him, and then continue brushing for another brief period. When he starts to fidget or squirm, give him a break and resume brushing later in the day. Your goal: To brush all of his outside gum and tooth surfaces in one daily session. Once you  accomplish that, consider brushing the inside surfaces. Since this might be a bit trickier, ask your Reynoldsburg veterinarian to demonstrate this technique first.

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