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Brushing Fido’s Teeth

Have you ever tried brushing your canine companion’s teeth? It’s one of the best ways to keep your dog’s dental health in peak condition in between veterinary cleanings. Below, your Portage, MI veterinarian tells you how to go about brushing your dog’s teeth to keep Fido’s pearly whites in tip-top shape.

Gather Your Supplies

First, gather together everything you’ll need for a successful tooth-brushing session. You’ll need a canine-formulated toothpaste—never use toothpaste made for other animals or humans—as well as a pet toothbrush and a few tasty dog treats.

How to Begin

When you’re ready, sit down with your dog in a quiet, well-lit area of the home. (It may be helpful to have a family member or friend steady your dog while you’re starting to brush.) Begin by simply massaging your dog’s teeth and gums with your finger; we know, it’s not the most pleasant experience, but it will help your dog acclimate to the sensation of brushing. You can even try dipping your finger in a bit of broth to further entice your canine companion.

Once your dog is used to the idea of having his teeth brushed, allow him to smell and taste a bit of the toothpaste. Canine toothpaste is typically formulated to taste just like a dog treat, so most dogs take to it well.

Brushing the Teeth

Now, dab a bit of paste on the toothbrush and try brushing a small section of your dog’s teeth. You only have to focus on the outer tooth surfaces, not the rear surfaces; plaque tends to accumulate on the outer surfaces of the teeth. Do your best to finish the section with a final downward motion to swipe away all loose plaque.

Repeat and Reward

Once you’ve successfully brushed a small section of your dog’s mouth, repeat the process around all of the teeth. Give your dog a treat or two after you’re done—this tells Fido that remaining calm for brushing sessions warrants a reward, making things easier for you in the future!

Don’t forget that professional dental cleanings at the vet’s office are also needed to keep your dog’s teeth and gums in their best shape. Talk to your veterinarian for more advice on maintaining your dog’s dental health at home in between cleanings.

Ready to set up your dog’s next dental appointment? Contact your Portage, MI animal hospital today to get started.

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