5 Tips for Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

Gray cat laying on a bed with white sheets

Just like brushing your teeth is a vital part of your oral hygiene, it’s important that your pet’s teeth get brushed, too. Here are some helpful tips and tricks for brushing your pet’s teeth.

1. Establish a Routine

One of the most important parts of brushing your pet’s teeth is establishing a routine. By setting a routine, over time your pet will come to expect the tooth brushing which will help reduce their reluctance and resistance each time you brush their teeth. Start by finding a time during which your pet is comfortable and relaxed. If your pet is more excitable in the morning, wait until later in the day when they’re more mellow and calm. Each time your brush your pet’s teeth, brush them around the same time so it becomes a regular activity that your pet expects. You should brush your pet’s teeth at least three times each week.

2. Use the Right Tools

In the same way that it’s important for you to use the right toothbrush, it’s important for your pet to use the right tooth brushing tools. Though you use a toothbrush and toothpaste for them just like you would for yourself, the toothpaste and toothbrush need to be ones that are specially made for your pet. You can find these tools online or at your pet store. Using a toothbrush that’s made for people could be too soft or too rough on your pet’s teeth, and toothpaste for humans could upset your pet’s stomach.

3. Make Your Pet Comfortable

Before you even start brushing your pet’s teeth, get down on their level. Sit or kneel in front of them. If you stand above them or hold them down, it can cause them to become agitated, upset, anxious, or aggressive.

You’ll also need to get them comfortable with the toothbrush, toothpaste, and even the action of brushing their teeth. Before you get out the toothbrush, simply test their willingness to have your hand near their mouth by lightly rubbing your finger along their teeth and gums. Finally, spread a tiny bit of their toothpaste on your finger and hold it out for them to taste. This will help get them used to the taste of the toothpaste.

4. Brush Correctly

Once you’re finally ready to brush your pet’s teeth, gently massage their gum line and teeth by brushing in small circles using light pressure. Start by brushing a few teeth at a time, working your way up to brushing the entire mouth for about two minutes. Be sure not to miss the back teeth and outsides of the canines, which is where plaque often builds up.

5. Reward Your Pet

When you are finished brushing your pet’s teeth, give them a treat or some extra love and playtime. This will help them view tooth brushing as something they’ll look forward to since they’ll receive a reward at the end.

While it’s vital that you take care of your pet’s teeth, be sure to take care of yours, too! Call us today to make an appointment for a checkup and a cleaning.

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