Vanessa Wood, Veterinary Surgeon, from White Cross Vets talks you through the process of brushing your pets teeth, with the help from Pip.
Brushing your dog’s teeth is easy to do and very important. It can prevent some serious canine health problems. Gingivitis and tartar build up can progress into the more serious periodontal disease. Bad infections can spread and can lead to heart, liver and kidney problems. So good dog dental hygiene really is important.
Check your dog’s teeth and gums regularly to see what is normal so you can spot any problems.
For the first few days, just hold your dog as you would normally do when you are petting him.
Gently stroke the outside of the cheeks with your finger for a minute or two.
After each session, reward your dog with treats and praise.
For the next few days – after your pet has become comfortable with this activity – place a small amount of the toothpaste on your finger and let your pet sample the flavour.
Next, introduce your pet to a pet toothbrush or finger brush.
Put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the brush and gently raise your dog’s upper lip and place the brush against an upper tooth.
With a slow circular motion, gently brush only that tooth and the adjoining gumline.
Each day gradually increase the number of teeth brushed. But go slowly, don’t continue beyond your pet’s point of comfort.
Build up to 30 seconds of brushing per side.
The easiest way in is to go straight, pushing the brush gently from front to back along the gumline, like this. Then add in the gentle circular motion.
After each session reward your pet with a treat and lots of praise.
Brushing should be done daily but missing 1-2 days per week would not be a big concern.
It is important to use canine or dogs’ toothpaste. It tastes better to dogs and the fluoride in human toothpaste can be toxic to dogs.
For more information on dog toothpaste, dog toothbrushes and dental disease in dogs – prevention and cure – visit our website.