As a pet owner, you should be brushing your pet’s teeth as frequently as you brush your own teeth. By brushing your pet’s teeth daily, you can reduce the amount of plaque and oral bacteria in their mouth and help keep pet dental disease at bay. Follow these steps to get started on brushing your furry friend’s teeth!
Step 1: Purchase pet-friendly toothbrushing products
When brushing your pet’s teeth, don’t use your own toothpaste. Since your pet can’t spit, they could swallow the fluoride contained in regular toothpaste, which can be harmful. Instead, purchase flavored toothpaste designed for pets, along with a small child’s toothbrush or a finger brush that will fit in your pet’s mouth.
Step 2: Offer your pet a small amount of toothpaste
Before jumping into brushing your pet’s teeth, offer them a taste of the toothpaste. Ideally, they’ll think it’s a treat and search for more.
Step 3: Use your finger to rub toothpaste on your pet’s teeth
Once your pet is excited about the toothpaste, use your finger to rub more paste on their teeth instead of allowing them to lap it up. Most pets will be more accepting of your finger in their mouth initially, and this will help ease the introduction of the toothbrush.
Step 4: Introduce the toothbrush to your pet
After your pet gets used to having your finger swipe along with their teeth and gums—and realize they get more delicious toothpaste with this action—squeeze a dollop onto the toothbrush and offer it to them. They may be wary of the toothbrush at first, but once they realize it holds a tasty treat, they’ll accept it.
Step 5: Gently brush your pet’s teeth with the toothbrush
Once your pet is licking the toothbrush, gently insert it into their mouth and scrub their teeth. Focus on the outer, cheek-side surface of the teeth since their tongue usually does a good job of removing plaque on the inner surface. When finished, praise your four-legged friend for a job well done!