A Step By Step Guide To Brushing Your Dog's Teeth
Many pet owners often overlook a key area of canine grooming, namely dental health. Canine oral hygiene is a precursor to good health and it begins with brushing your dog's teeth the right way.
Here are a few steps to help you overcome the initial hurdle of introducing brushing to your pet.
A word of caution: Not all dogs take to brushing easily. It requires a great deal of tact and patience on the dog owner's side to brush teeth of his or her beloved pet.
- Select a toothbrush: You must always use toothbrushes specially designed for dogs. These brushes are long, have soft bristles and come with a curved handle to reach the back of the teeth. There are finger toothbrushes too if you feel your dog might not like the toothbrush.
- Choose dog toothpaste: Do not use human toothpaste at any cost as it can cause liver damage in dogs. There are several kinds of pet-safe toothpaste in different flavors. Choose a flavor appropriate to your dog's taste and temperament.
- Choose a quiet time: It is advisable to always use a time and place that is quiet and away from boisterous children and other pets. You do not want any distractions to the entire process. Always ensure that there is enough lighting in the room.
- Start small: Introduce the paste the first time by applying it to your finger and allowing it to lick it. Next, apply the paste to your finger and run it over the teeth; let your pet get used to the taste and the feel of the toothpaste. Do not force it; you must be patient with the whims and fears of your pet.
- Introduce the toothbrush: To begin with, lift the top lip of the pet and gently touch the top teeth followed by the other teeth on the side. Next, pull the bottom lip and touch the teeth and the back of the teeth. After this process does not forget to praise and reward your pet. Remember appropriate praise and reward will go a long way in maintaining good brushing habits and oral hygiene in general.
- Apply toothpaste: Then apply the paste to the toothbrush. Initially, a pea-sized amount will suffice.
- Begin gentle brushing: Now holding the upper lip, with gentle motions start brushing the teeth and gum. Move the brush in circular motions. Always start from the front teeth before moving to the sides and the back.
- Inside cleaning: Make sure that you clean both outsides and inside the teeth thoroughly; cleaning the inner surface of the teeth might be challenging but do not give up. You can though add this step once the dog is used to brushing.
- Don't forget the molars: The inner unreachable molars are where tartar build up is fast. Therefore, make sure that you reach back and clean these areas.
- Heap the praises: Brushing teeth is not natural for doggies. Just like you reward your pet for any new trick learned, heap praises after every brushing session to continue the entire process. Make sure to play with them, pet them lovingly and give a mouth-watering treat. While the treatment may not seem the right choice, you must make sure that your dog learns to get its teeth brushed before you take food away from his plate.