Cleaning Your Pet’s Teeth

A blonde dog and a tabby striped cat snuggle in a green leafy plant

You love your pet and want to give them the best care. To ensure that your pet’s oral health is up to snuff, you should be brushing their teeth every day. If daily is just too much for your sanity, try for at least 2-3 times each week. Here are some helpful tips on how to make brushing your pet’s teeth work for everyone.

Establish a Routine

It’s vital to establish a routine when you begin brushing your pet’s teeth. Over time they’ll come to expect the tooth brushing if you make sure to set up a specific designated time for the brushing. Begin by finding a time when your pet is relaxed and calm. If your pet is often more energetic in the morning, try brushing their teeth at night when they’re more mellow. It’s important to brush their teeth at about the same time each day so they view it as a regular activity.

Buy the Correct Toothbrush and Toothpaste

You’ll need to use a toothbrush and toothpaste that’s specifically made for pets, which can be purchased at your local pet store or online. Brushing your pet’s teeth with a toothbrush that’s meant for humans could be too soft or rough on their teeth and gums, while using human toothpaste will upset your furry friend’s stomach because fluoride is hazardous to pets if swallowed. Specially formulated pet toothpaste doesn’t require rinsing, so it’s safe for your pet to ingest.

Make Your Pet Comfortable with the Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Before you begin brushing your pet’s teeth, make sure that they’re comfortable with the toothpaste and toothbrush. Start by testing their comfort with having you near their mouth by lightly rubbing your finger along their gums and teeth to simulate the brushing process. Once they feel comfortable with this, spread some of your pet’s toothpaste on your finger and hold it out so they can taste the toothpaste.

Use the Correct Brushing Technique

Gently massage your pet’s teeth and gum line by brushing in small circles. Start by brushing just a few of their teeth at a time, building up to brushing their entire mouth for about two minutes total. Be sure not to miss the outsides of the canines and their back teeth! This is where plaque builds up.

Give Your Pet a Reward

When you’ve finished brushing your pet’s teeth, reward them with some extra playtime, extra attention, or even a treat. They need to see teeth brushing as something to look forward to and something that they’ll be rewarded for doing. You can also supplement your pet’s oral care routine with a dental chew treat, which will entertain your pet as it freshens their breath and cleans their teeth.

While you’re taking care of your pet’s teeth, you should also be taking care of yours. Contact us today to make an appointment for your own cleaning and check up!

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