How To Brush A Dog’s Teeth

Skylar Dial
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Step 1: Purchase The Correct Equipment

You can find a complete week by week report on Fido's grooming here.

The equipment you need to brush your dog's teeth may already be lying around your house. The items needed are:

  • A toothbrush designed for dogs
  • Dog toothpaste
  • A dog toothbrush holder
  • A safe and secure dog-toothpaste dispenser
  • A dog toothpaste holder
  • A dog toothbrush

You can get the toothpaste in either paste or powder form.

When purchasing a dog toothbrush, make sure it’s designed for dogs. The type of toothbrush you select will depend on chew level.

A good quality toothbrush will keep your dog's teeth clean.

Beware of cheap, flimsy toothbrushes. Your dog can break the toothbrush or the head can detach. Also, cheap toothbrushes can irritate your dog's mouth and eat away at the enamel.

Step 2: Introduce Your Dog To The Process

First thing’s first: introduce your dog to the routine of having his teeth brushed. Start with short sessions twice a day for a week or so. If he’s not accustomed to it, your pet might be a bit hesitant at first, but should soon enjoy the new game. Once he’s relaxed, start with the method described below.

Step 3: Open Your Dog’s Mouth

Once you apply a bit of dental dog toothpaste on your dogs toothbrush, I like to use a gentle prying action to open my dogs mouth. You cant just forcefully open a dogs jaws to get its mouth open. You must guide the dogs mouth open and then just gently pressure the mouth open.

You should also be on the lookout for any signs that your dog is feeling uncomfortable. These could be submissive urination, excessive panting, or an irritable expression on your dog’s face. If you see any of these signs, let your dog’s mouth go and delay the dental brushing.

Some dogs get scared of the sensation of the toothbrush when you first start brushing. So let them sniff the dog toothbrush first and try to get them used to the scent. If that doesn’t work, try spraying some doggie toothpaste in your dog’s mouth. When the dog’s mouth smells like dental dog toothpaste, a lot of dogs get a lot more comfortable with putting their mouths into the brush part of the toothbrush. It’s better for the dog if it has a positive association with the toothbrush.

Step 4: Gently Brush All Of The Cheek-Facing Teeth

It's extremely important to brush down towards the gums of the dog when you're brushing your dog's teeth. This will help you get the dog used to you brushing their teeth in this specific manner.

When you're brushing the teeth on the cheeks, you will start at the back molars on one side of the mouth and brush your way forward. Always brush down towards the gums. When you locate the second back molar, curve your finger underneath it and gently pull it out a bit. This will help you get in between the second back molars and in the back of the mouth, which is especially important for small dogs.

Brush gently and under the gum line. Never brush up in between the teeth. The pink gums of dogs are very sensitive, and it's best to be extra gentle. Use a finger to push against the back of the dog's molars and hold it there. This will prevent the dog from wiggling around and keep their mouth still.

Continue brushing the top teeth a second time, as well. This time, hold the dog's mouth closed, brush the top teeth, and then move on to the bottom.

Step 5: Reward Your Dog

Finally, it’s time to reward your dog. They endured a lot of pain that they would never have now if you weren’t trying to clean their teeth. And yes, this is a process. Brushing your dog’s teeth is basically like brushing your own teeth, but potentially a lot more difficult, depending on the size of your dog.

Reward your dog with lots of praise, food treats, or simply throw a ball for them to chase after. After all, this can be one of the best rewards for them.

This step is truly important, because if you leave your dog without food, drink, or playtime, they may mistake your actions for a punishment.

Step 6: Repeat As Needed

Brushing your dog’s teeth takes more effort than you might assume at first. You should perform regular at-home cleanings for your dog since he cannot brush his own teeth. Keeping your pooch’s mouth healthy can help prevent problems such as cavities, periodontal disease, and gingivitis.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is a good job for the whole family because it only takes a few minutes each day to complete. Be sure to follow the steps above carefully, or you might hurt your dog.

The first few times you brush your dog’s teeth, you might find that he’s not exactly afraid of the process. However, it’s important to continue with it so that your dog is desensitized to it. Also, the canine version of a toothbrush is not as annoying since there is no vibrating action.