Pet Tooth Brushing Tips
Dogs and cats can get cavities just like a human. Did you know that 98% of dogs with bad breath already have some form of periodontal disease? For these reasons, it’s important to know how to brush your pet’s teeth.
While caring for your own teeth may be a simple matter, it can be a bit tricky when it comes to your pet. Since animals aren’t used to dental hygiene, they may be a bit resistant at first. That’s why these tips on how to brush your pet’s teeth are so important.
Some pet owners brush the teeth of their
cat friend daily. If you don’t have time for that, it’s recommended that you do it at least two times a week. And remember, toothpaste for humans isn’t edible, so never use it on your dog or cat (the consequences could be fatal).
Consult Your Veterinarian
Once you’ve read this article, you’ll know how to brush your pet’s teeth. Before you start, however, it’s a good idea to discuss it with your veterinarian. Have the vet check out your pet’s teeth and determine their oral health.
If your dog or cat has damaged teeth or gums, the entire brushing process will be a painful one. This means the animal will resist and have a negative association with tooth-brushing. Take care of any pre-existing dental problems before starting a dental cleaning regimen.
Condition Your Pet
Animals normally don’t like people prying their mouth open and poking around inside. For this reason, you’ll need to take things slow and let your pet become accustomed to the activity.
Just try opening their mouth at first. If your pet resists, don’t scold them. Try to talk to them in a friendly voice. When you’re done, be sure and reward your pet with some sort of treat.
Buy A Dental Kit And Toothpaste
These can either be purchased from your vet or a pet store. A pet dental kit will include everything you need. If your pet seems resistant to a normal animal toothbrush, you can also buy a much smaller version which fits over the end of your finger.
Besides the dental kit, you’ll also need to get some flavored toothpaste specially made for animals. Available in a number of flavors (including beef and chicken), it is edible and won’t harm your pet’s stomach.
Comfortable And Calm
When you’re ready to brush your pet’s teeth, make sure they’re calm and relaxed. You’ll also want to find a comfortable surface to sit them on. Remember, if the animal is stressed out or uncomfortable before you even start, the whole process will be much more difficult.
Continue The Conditioning
The first few times, don’t even use a toothbrush. Just get your animal comfortable and slowly rub their cheeks with your finger. Next, place a bit of the flavored toothpaste on you finger and let them get used to the taste. This step is suggested whether you’re cleaning your dog’s teeth or cleaning your cat’s teeth.
Brushing The Teeth
You can now move on to the toothbrush. Place a small amount on toothpaste on it and try brushing one or two teeth (the canine teeth are always a good place to start). Move in a circular motion and brush both the teeth and the gums.
After a few days, you can then increase the number of teeth being brushed. Ultimately, you’ll want to shoot for about 30 seconds per side.
The outside surfaces are most important, as dogs and cats rarely get tartar buildup on the inside of their teeth. Brushing the back teeth is vital, as this is where most plaque tends to build up.
Reward Your Pet
Once you’re through, be sure and praise your animal and reward them with a treat. There are tartar-control treats available on the market, and these continue to promote dental health even after brushing.
Chew treats and hard food also make good treats. These hard substances also serve to toughen up an animal’s teeth and gums, thus promoting oral health.