To some of us pet owners remembering to brush our own teeth is hard enough, never mind the daunting task of brushing our pets teeth! Fear not! Tooth brushing doesn’t have to be a struggle!
Many pet stores as well as veterinarians carry pet sized tooth brushes. These tooth brushes come in a variety of sizes and styles. There are traditional brushes as well as other brushes that fir over your finger. Make sure to choose a brush that you are comfortable using. If Fido isn’t a fan of the traditional brushes there are also dental sponges available or you could even wrap your finger in gauze and use that as a brushing tool!
When brushing your pet’s teeth it’s important to remember to use toothpaste made specifically for your pet. Remember, your pet will be swallowing the majority of the toothpaste and swallowing human toothpaste can cause some serious damage! There are many types of pet toothpastes on the market in a variety of flavors ranging from chicken to liver. You may have to try a few different flavors before you find one that your pet will enjoy.
While it’s best to start brushing your pet’s teeth from a very young age, it’s not impossible to get your older pet comfortable with brushing. When you first start brushing your pet’s teeth it’s important to introduce the brush slowly. The feeling of a brush poking around your pet’s mouth will feel a little odd for them at first. The first steps are getting your pet used to having their face and mouth touched. You can do this at first with your fingers. Show your pet the new tooth brush and let them sniff it for a bit before putting it in their mouth. Toothpaste can be applied to the teeth with your finger before you begin brushing with the brush. Concentrate most of your brushing to the outsides of the teeth, this is where plaque and bacteria are more prone to hide out. Ensure that you do not try to over power or punish your pet for not allowing you to brush their teeth. This will only make them more reluctant towards the tooth brush and will work in the opposite direction. Once you’re done brushing reward your pet! Make sure they know they’ve done a good job allowing you to brush their teeth. Making the brushing a positive experience for your pet is extremely important, they may come to even enjoy tooth brushing time!
As always, if you have any questions or would like a tooth brushing demo visit your veterinarian and we will be happy to help!
This blog post was written by McQueen Animal Hospital, a veterinary clinic in Brampton providing quality affordable veterinary care