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How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

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Your pet’s oral health is just as important as yours. Even if it might seem like a hassle, it’s very important that once your puppy develops teeth, he or she needs to get into the habit of cleaning their teeth regularly to avoid any future health problems. 5-Minute Crafts will show you step-by-step how to brush your dog’s teeth. We also wanted to share some useful tips to make the whole process smoother for both you and your dog.

⚠️ Remember you should always check with your vet to see what type of products you need to use to keep your pet healthy. If you own an aggressive dog or one that tends to bite, it’s better to let a professional do it for you.

What you’ll need

  • Dog toothpaste
  • Toothbrush or a dog finger toothbrush
  • Gauze
  • Water
  • Your dog’s favorite treats

Instructions

1. Start by making sure your pet is familiar with the taste of the toothpaste. To do this, you put a little bit of toothpaste on your finger for him or her to taste and smell, before actually brushing their teeth. Give them a prize so that they get some positive reinforcement when thinking about the toothpaste.

2. Before using the toothbrush, you can introduce the habit of cleaning their teeth with your fingers and a gauze.

  • Wrap your index finger in gauze.
  • Lift their lips and open their mouth so that you can insert your finger properly.
  • Carefully and slowly rub the surface of the teeth and gums. If you notice that they get too uncomfortable, stop insisting, it’s better to try again later. This way, your dog will get used to having a strange object in their mouth one step at a time.

Reward your pet again.

3. Once your pet gets used to the feeling and is clearly comfortable with you doing this, roll the gauze up around your index finger again. But this time, put some toothpaste on its teeth and rub them carefully. Once again, when you’re done, give your dog a treat.

4. After you go through these few steps to familiarize your dog with the idea of having their teeth cleaned, it is time for a proper brushing. You can either use a brush or a dog finger brush in this step. Gently hold your pet’s mouth and start brushing their fangs little by little with vertical movements. Make sure you also massage the gums and the spaces in between the fangs. It’s very important for you to make sure that you’re applying just enough strength to massage the teeth and the gums lightly. Otherwise, you could hurt your dog.

5. After brushing the fangs, keep moving toward the back teeth, always using circular motions. Do this on both sides of the dog’s mouth, and, if possible, the back and front of the dog’s teeth and gums. Remember you should always be gentle.

6. Brush the incisor teeth with vertical and circular movements. Those are the small teeth that you see in front.

7. To finish, brush your dog’s tongue from back to front and then from one side to the other. Give your pet a well-deserved prize for being so brave and well-behaved while you were performing an operation that he or she likely thought was very weird.

Useful tips

  • It is important to be patient and reward your pet after every step, no matter how small it is. This way, the dog will see that he or she is rewarded for their good behavior. You can use dental snacks to complement brushing.
  • Don’t use regular human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. It’s always better to use a special one recommended by your vet. Choosing a flavor that your pet likes might make things easier.
  • It’s recommended that you brush your dog’s teeth daily. However, since this might not be such an easy thing to do, you can stick to at least 3 times a week while at the same time using some dental toys with integrated brushes to help you.
  • It is essential that you visit your vet every few months (or at a minimum, once a year) so that they can check your pet and give them a professional teeth cleaning.
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