Brushing your dogs teeth is not always an easy task, but it is super beneficial. A study showed that regular tooth brushing could extend a dog’s life up to 3 years! When a dog has an infection in his mouth it can also enter into his blood stream and cause infections in his heart valves and other vital organs. Dental problems can lead to heart, liver and kidney disease, which can affect the overall health of your dog. So I am going to share with you how to brush your dog’s teeth.
1. Gather all your supplies.
Before you go to fetch Buddy make sure you have all the tools you necessary. You will need a toothbrush (I prefer the dog full sized toothbrushes vs. the finger brushes). You will also need toothpaste specifically made for dogs. I use fresh and cleans tooth gel in my grooming salon, but if your dog is anything like my dog, Bruin, he hates mint, so I use a chicken flavored toothpaste for him. Spoiled…I know!
2. Bring your dog up to your level.
I find it much easier to control the dog and get into their mouth if he is up on top of something. At my grooming salon I obviously use a grooming table, but at home you can improvise. Depending on their size, dogs can be placed up on the washer machine or dryer, kitchen counters or a table.
3. Take it slow.
Like anything new, I find it best to gradually introduce them to the whole process. Let them smell the toothbrush and toothpaste. Then let them smell the toothbrush with toothpaste on it. If they lick it off, great! Lot’s of positive reinforcement even for them just being interested. For the first couple times I would quickly brush their teeth, then make a big deal with lots of praise. Each time you brush their teeth gradually do it a little bit longer.
4. Treats can help.
Positive reinforcement can also be done by giving your pup a treat. If they smell the toothbrush, give them a treat. If they lick the toothbrush, give them a treat. It helps them associate the toothbrush as a good thing! Once they have gotten more use to it, one treat at the end will show you are pleased and he did a good job, so hopefully he will see getting his teeth brushed as a fun experience.
5. Be confident
Dogs read our energy so well. If you feel bad, are nervous or are just plain dreading this chore your dog will feel that too and dread it too! Be happy, excited and keep thinking in your mind how this chore is to benefit your dog’s health and combat that bad breath, so those slobbery kisses will be more enjoyable!
I recommend brushing your dogs teeth once a week, but the more the better! By keeping up with it, you can save you a lot of money by not having to pay for dental procedures from your vet. If you are still have a lot of trouble there are products you can use instead of or in addition to brushing their teeth to keep tarter off and keep his gums healthy. The fresh and clean gel says as long as some gets on your dogs teeth he will get some benefit from it. They also make an additive you can just add to their water bowl. Chewing on bones can be very helpful in keeping up with your dogs oral health and I find the best out there is moose antlers. They are tough and long lasting plus wont cause any digestive issues!