Brushing Dog Teeth: February is Pet Dental Health Month

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Brushing Dog Teeth

Feb 05

Categories: Blog, Dental Health

Brushing Dog Teeth
Brushing your dog's teeth isn't just a suggestion.  Pet dental health is crucial for your pet's overall health.  Below is a great dog brushing explanation from AAHA.

Introducing dental care to your dog

To introduce a dog to the idea of dental care, start slowly and gradually. Dip a finger into beef bouillon and gently rub along your dog's gums and teeth. The most important area to focus on is the gum line (the crevice where the gums meet the teeth), where bacteria and food mix to form plaque. Focusing on the gum line, start at the front of the mouth, then move to the back upper and lower teeth and gum areas. Once your dog is okay with a little bit of touching, gradually introduce gauze over your finger and rub the teeth and gums in a circular fashion. When your pet can handle the gauze, try brushing with a toothbrush specially designed for pets or a very soft, ultra-sensitive toothbrush designed for people. The bristles should be held at a 45-degree angle to the tooth surface and be moved in an oval motion. Scrub in the gum line, as this is where odor and infection begin. Gradually add dog toothpaste, but never use people toothpaste or baking soda, as both will upset your pet’s stomach.

Use the following process to brushing dog teeth including the inside surfaces:

  1. Place your hand over your pet’s muzzle from the top
  2. Gently squeeze and push his lips on one side between the back teeth (to keep his mouth open)
  3. Pull his head back gently so his mouth opens
  4. Brush his teeth on the opposite side
  5. Repeat this process for the other side
The entire process of brushing dog teeth should only take a minute or two. If your dog continues to resist, try gently wrapping him in a large bath towel with only his head sticking out. Above all, avoid stress and keep sessions short and positive. Home care can be improved by feeding your pet an unmoistened dry pet food and offering him hard biscuits after each meal. Both dry food and hard biscuits produce abrasion to help keep plaque to a minimum on the crown of each tooth.