6 Tips for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth at Home in East Lansing, MI

Dogs need to have their teeth brushed just like we do. This might seem like it should not be necessary for dogs that have healthy teeth but brushing your dog’s teeth is often a key aspect of maintaining their health throughout their life. Healthy teeth need brushing even more than teeth that are no longer healthy since they can be spared from dental decay and the ravages of tartar and plaque through the brushing process.

If you have been struggling with the toothbrushing process, don’t feel bad! Some dogs just don’t feel confident about having their teeth brushed at first. Be sure that your dog is always being rewarded with positive reinforcement and patience. This will go a long way toward teaching them to enjoy the toothbrushing process. The better your dog feels about having their teeth brushed, the more positive the entire process will be for both of you.

Dog Teeth Brushing in East Lansing, MI

Brushing your dog’s teeth at home can be easy, and you will be glad that you have learned these tips and tricks to make your dog love having their teeth cared for.

1. Be Patient

This is perhaps the most important thing that you can do for your pet when you are teaching them about the toothbrushing process. The more patient you are, the more successful you will be at training your dog to enjoy having their mouth cared for. Use positive reinforcement and be kind to your dog as you teach them to have this kind of care done for them. You do not have to be in a hurry to get their entire mouth cleaned thoroughly each time you brush in the beginning. Give you and your dog breaks along the way as needed to make the process less stressful.

2. Get a Good Quality Toothpaste

The better the toothpaste that you buy, the easier it will be to convince your pet to enjoy having their teeth cared for. Better quality toothpaste will taste better overall and be more effective as well. You should be sure that you check out the reviews that are available for the toothpaste and see if other people state that their dog liked the toothpaste. This is one of the key aspects to having a good experience with your toothpaste product, and you should take the time to shop around a little before settling on a toothpaste product.

3. Use the Right Size Brush

There are various sizes of toothbrushes that you can use to care for your dog’s teeth. You can get a toothbrush that is much like a human one or a smaller and rounder toothbrush that is better for smaller dogs’ mouths. They also make fingertip brushes that are perfect for small dog breeds or puppies. The right toothbrush tool can be a big help to your dog teeth brushing experience, and you will have a lot more luck caring for your pet if you are working with the correct tools.

4. Do Not Use Human Toothpaste

Human toothpaste is full of ingredients that dogs cannot have and that are quite toxic to them. Absolutely never use human products to brush your dog’s teeth, as the fluoride, parabens, and sulfates in these products can be deadly for dogs. Dogs must always have their teeth brushed with dog-safe toothpaste, and you will want to be careful to check the ingredients in every toothpaste that you consider buying. Sometimes unscrupulous marketing will lead you to think that a product is dog-safe that is not, in fact, made for dogs.

5. Start at the Front Teeth

Make sure that you do not head for your dog’s back teeth first. This can make them gag, and it might scare them into being worried about the process from the start. Make sure that you begin brushing at the front of your dog’s mouth and work your way to the back carefully. The more conscientious you are about this order of cleaning, the less likely it will be that your dog will panic and start to be scared of having their teeth brushed.

6. Enlist Help

If your dog likes to back up or run away when you are trying to brush their teeth, get someone to hold and comfort them gently so that you can keep them close enough to work on them. Be sure that you are not forcing them to do anything that they are scared of, but be sure that they cannot completely run away, either. This can help with panic response and make the process far less connected with escape for your pet. The person who helps you needs to be someone that your dog feels safe with and that they know to help make the process more comforting and less stressful.

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth is Important

Brushing your dog’s teeth is a big part of keeping them healthy. You can prevent expensive dental surgery, mouth pain, bleeding gums, and broken teeth just by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. This is something that any dog can learn to enjoy. Armed with these tips, you will be able to brush your dog’s teeth like a pro in no time. Be sure that you are always patient and understanding as you teach your dog about this process. The gentler and more careful that you are with your dog, who is learning about the toothbrushing process, the better.

Your dog can benefit greatly from having their teeth cared for daily basis, and you will see immediate improvements in their attitude about having their teeth brushed if you use these tips. Dogs that have healthy teeth can eat properly, will be much less likely to suffer from mouth pain, and will not be at risk for infections and secondary complications from gum disease such as heart problems. Brushing your dog’s teeth can easily become part of your daily routine for your pet with a little practice and some patience.

To schedule a teeth cleaning for your dog in East Lansing, call Eastside Animal Hospital at (517) 332-2511! For a list of approved oral products for dogs see this list put together by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)