dog looking out the window

Did you know that your dog will have some degree of dental disease by the time she’s 3 years old? It’s true! When it comes to humans, we know that a healthy mouth is an indicator of overall health and it’s no different for dogs. As such, it’s important to learn how to brush a dog’s teeth the right way.

Leaving dental disease untreated could lead to serious health problems, both in people and dogs.

How Often Should You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

Every single day! Daily brushing will keep your dog’s teeth clean and her mouth healthy.

What You’ll Need

  • A specially designed toothbrush made for dogs
  • Toothpaste specially-formulated for dogs
  • Patience

Sure, some people use toothpaste made for people, but YOU SHOULDN’T! Why?

Read also: Importance of Daily Oral Hygiene – Periodontal Disease in Dogs

People toothpaste often contains xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Even if it doesn’t contain xylitol, it’s still formulated to be foamy and could upset your dog’s stomach.

And, the best part about dog toothpaste is that it is flavored with them in mind — chicken and beef flavors that they love.

As for dog toothbrushes, it’s best to use one made for pups but you can use soft-bristled human brushes. However, you’d probably find dog finger brushes to be the best and easiest to use.

What to Do When Your Dog Won’t Let You Brush Her Teeth

This is where you have to be patient. It will take time for your dog to get used to a toothbrush in her mouth, but it will be worth it.

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Guide

  • Be prepared with the brush and toothpaste.
  • Get your dog accustomed to touching her lips and lifting them up to expose the gums and feel around for a few days.
  • Give her lots of praise, and let her lick the toothpaste off the brush as a reward.
  • As your dog gets used to this routine, eventually, she’ll let you move that brush around in her mouth.
  • Keep rewarding and praising her.
  • Make this pleasant and something she looks forward to
  • Never yell or punish her.
  • Keep doing this until you are actually able to brush your dog’s teeth.

***If your dog growls at you when you try to brush her teeth, STOP. Do not risk being bitten.***

Instead, contact your veterinarian for added advice on how to brush your dog’s teeth safely.

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