How to Brush Dog TeethLast updated: Aug 02, 2016
Brushing your dog's teeth is very important! Studies show that 80 percent of pets have periodontal disease by the age of three. The key is to start brushing your pet's teeth at a young age. This will help familiarize them to brushing and prevent future dental and gum problems.
Step 1 – Gradually introduce your pet to a brushing program. These sessions should be kept short. Do not over-restrain your pet during the process. Praise and reassure your pet throughout the entire process.
Step 2 – Get your pet used to you having your hand in his mouth. Dip your finger into beef bouillon for dogs or tuna water for cats. Rub your soaked finger gently over the pet's gum and teeth. Remember to make this session short and positive.
Step 3 – When comfortable with your finger, gradually introduce gauze over your finger with toothpaste applied to it. Lift the lips to expose the outside surface of the teeth. Gently scrub the teeth in a circular motion. Do not use toothpaste meant for humans as your pet will not like the foaminess. They cannot spit and rinse after using it, and it will upset their tummies. There are a lot of good toothpastes and dental products designed for pets.
Step 4 – Now you can finally introduce a toothbrush to your pet. Use a soft nylon toothbrush designed specifically for pets. Brush in small circles, overlapping the teeth and gums. The most important part to brush is the where the gum attaches to the tooth. Use water additives, chews or gels in-between brushings to prevent plaque buildup.
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Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Former Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival's Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.
The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.