- It’s best to start when your pet is young, the earlier you introduce brushing the easier it will be for your pet to accept it. Handle your pet’s mouth from the time you bring them home. For puppies and kittens introduce the brush at about 6 – 7 months.
With patience, most grown dogs and cats can learn to tolerate brushing too.
- You will need a toothbrush designed specifically for canine- it should be smaller than human toothbrush and have softer bristles.
- A toothpaste formulated for canines is a must. Do not use human toothpaste, it contains detergents that will cause stomach upset.
- Antiseptic rinses are also available for pets. Rinses tend to be very palatable and some have been shown to decrease gingivitis and periodontal disease in pets. They can be an excellent choice for feline dental care.
- A veterinary exam prior to beginning a new oral care routine may be helpful to find out if your pet’s gums are inflamed. If your pet has mild gingivitis brushing too hard can be painful.
- Begin by getting your pet used to the idea of having his teeth brushed. Massage his lips with your finger in a circular motion for 30 to 60 seconds once or twice a day for a few weeks. Then move on to his tooth and gums.
- When your pet seems comfortable having his mouth touched this way, put a small bit of canine toothpaste on his lips to get him used to the taste.
- Next, introduce the soft canine toothbrush.
- Finally, apply the toothpaste to the teeth and begin with a gentle brushing.
Canine Brushing Technique:
Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth and clean in small circular motions. Work on one area of your pet’s mouth at a time, lifting the lips as necessary. The side of the tooth that touches the cheek usually has the most tartar, giving a final downward stroke can help to remove it. If your pet resists having the inner surfaces of the teeth cleaned, don’t fight it – only a small amount of tartar accumulates there.
Once your pet has become accustomed to having his/her teeth brushed, it should become a regular routine.