• November 28th, 2020
    Written by: Kimberly

    The condition of a dog’s teeth are an important part of their overall health, yet they are often overlooked during grooming. Clean teeth reduce the risk of gum disease, bad breath, and decaying teeth. Many organizations, like the American Kennel Club, recommend brushing your dog’s teeth every day, although even starting with once a week can make a difference in the health of your dog.

    Getting Your Dog Ready

    If you have never brushed your dog’s teeth before, you should not expect to be able to do a full brushing on the first day. Both you and your dog will need some time to get used to the process and should take it slowly to avoid creating any negative experiences.

    To start, you will need:

    • A Dog Toothbrush
    • Dog Toothpaste

    Next, acclimate your dog. The process of teeth brushing should always be positive. If you or your dog get stressed, stop immediately.

    Do not stand over your dog or hold them down while brushing. Touch her teeth and gums regularly with your finger, and later with the toothbrush so that she is familiar with the sensation. Also let her try some of the toothpaste so she knows the flavor.

    Steps to Clean Teeth

    When you are ready to try brushing your dog’s teeth, wait for a time when you are both calm and undistracted. Then use the preparation you’ve done over the past days and brush his teeth with these steps:

    1. Brush the Top Teeth - Lift your dog’s lip and brush the outsides of the top row of teeth. You should hold the brush bristles at a 45 degree angle so they remove plaque at the gum line. Move to the inside of the teeth if your dog is comfortable.
    2. Brush the Bottom Teeth - Pull back your dog’s lower lip and repeat the process with your dog’s lower teeth, starting with the outside.
    3. Use Circular Motions - Little circular motions over each tooth are both gentle and effective at removing build up.
    4. Target Plaque - Especially if your dog will not tolerate a complete brushing, work on areas that have a plaque build up like the canines and back molars.
    5. Praise and Treat - Throughout the process, talk soothingly to your dog and praise him. At the end, give him a treat so he remembers this as a positive experience.

    The process should last about two minutes, but do not worry if you can’t brush all your dog’s teeth at first. Go slowly and build up the routine over time.

    To maintain your dog’s teeth in between brushing, purchase special treats and toys designed to remove plaque and freshen her breath.These can help keep your dog healthy while also providing a welcome reward.