The health of your dog’s mouth is as important as the health of your own mouth but how do you successfully introduce brushing into your dog's daily routine?
Left unattended to, poor oral hygiene can lead to serious health concerns for both you and your dog. The plaque formed inside the mouth heads off into other areas of the body and can create cardiac, kidney and arthritis issues. So, it is of paramount importance that, just like for you, your dog’s teeth and gums are taken care of every day.
How to Introduce Brushing
Starting when they are puppies is important
Pet owners often leave brushing their dog’s teeth until later on as the excitement of adopting a new puppy can be all-encompassing. But working with your puppy from the beginning to get him used to you handling his mouth can mean the difference between a cakewalk and a bigger struggle. Early adoption of this practice also increases the number of times you will be looking in your dog’s mouth and will set you up to notice when changes are happening that need the intervention of your vet.
The second-best time is now
When first approaching your dog’s mouth, whether they are puppies or full-grown dogs it’s important not to launch into brushing with a passion. Start slowly, this is the best way to introduce brushing.
- Get your dog used to laying his head on your hand and being rewarded with a treat for it. Increase the length of time you do this part of the process with your dog until you are both comfortable with it. When you have mastered this step, move on to the next.
- Let your pet lick the Petosan poultry-flavored toothpaste off your fingertip for a week or so. It’s important to use a toothpaste designed for pets, as human toothpaste can contain ingredients that are toxic to animals.
- Then move on to the Petosan microfiber cloth brush which slips easily over the index finger. Let your dog get used to licking the poultry-flavored toothpaste off the new textured brush for another week or so until you feel he is the ready to move on to the next stage.
- Use the microfiber brush to brush one tooth at a time. Then move on to brushing small sections at a time. When your dog has mastered this, you can move on to using a double-headed Petosan toothbrush.
- Allow your pet to lick the toothpaste off the brush as the texture will have changed quite significantly.
- When using the double-headed brush, it’s important not to let your dog treat it as a toy. If he tries to do that, simply remove it from his mouth until he has calmed down and try again.
- When he is ready to move on from that stage, like you did with the microfiber brush, start brushing in small areas until he is used to the process.
- Before long you will have a productive session with each other! Remember to be patient and it will all come together.
Tooth brushing doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be a fun and healthy experience for both of you. Use the above steps to introduce brushing into your dog's daily routine.