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My, What Shiny Teeth You Have

Dog Smiling: Animals Dental Hygiene

Photo by Rennett Stowe / CC BY

When was the last time you brushed your pet’s teeth?

As you may remember, keeping up with your animals dental hygiene was on the list of 2015 New Year’s resolutions ideas. For those out there who would prefer to take care of this at home rather than schedule an appointment with the veterinarian, here are the steps to clean your pet’s teeth:

  1. Find your supplies. Pet stores carry specialty toothbrushes and toothpaste. However, you can also just use a clean piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. When it comes to toothpaste, there are several flavors available, so it might take a try or two to figure out which one your animal actually likes. The important thing is to not use human toothpaste. Your canine will probably end up swallowing a good amount of the paste, which is why they have ones made especially for them.
  2. Get your dog used to the feeling. Start off with having something yummy, like peanut butter, on your finger. Let your pooch lick your finger, and as he does, gently rub your finger against his teeth and gums. Repeat this exercise for a couple of days, eventually switching to the toothpaste you have chosen.
  3. Have treats ready. The first couple of times you brush his teeth, have treats ready. Gently lift up one side of your canine’s muzzle (snout), and then use the toothbrush to gently scrub the teeth on that side. If your pooch behaves and cooperates, praise him and give him a treat. Then, just rinse and repeat!

You should aim to brush your pet’s teeth for about 5 minutes, and try to do it daily. However, if that is hard for you to accomplish, try for a few times a week. No one likes dental disease, not even our dogs!

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