Tips for Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

You’re canine, and feline companions need proper dental care to keep them healthy and smiling. Just like us, they also benefit from daily brushings. Here are a few tips to make brushing your pets’ teeth more enjoyable.

Choose the right brush: Figure out what works best for you and your pet. This may be a small toothbrush designed specifically for animals or a brush that fits on your finger (these make brushing much easier).

Use tasty toothpaste: Never use toothpaste designed for humans, these contain ingredients that are toxic to our furry friends. There are yummy flavours made just for cats and dogs. Find the flavour they like, and brushing will seem like treat time!

Work up to it: Do not start with a full-on brushing session, this may overwhelm your pet and make them run for the hills. Begin with letting your pet taste the toothpaste, be positive and reward them every step of the way. Move a little further each session, get them used to the brush being near their mouth and then touching their teeth. Once they feel comfortable, begin brushing all of the teeth. Reward and praise!

Be thorough but gentle: Just like us, your pet’s gums are very sensitive. Do not scrub too hard as this may cause irritation, and also will make the experience uncomfortable for your pet. Use gentle motions similar to brushing your own teeth.

Watch your fingers: Be careful, make sure your pet’s mouth is open safely, and your fingers are not in a position to get chomped on. You may lift the lip to brush the sides of the teeth. Be careful when reaching the inner surfaces, if your pet will allow this.

Have fun! If your pet looks forward to their tasty toothpaste or fun reward, brushing time will be a positive experience.

Written by: 4 Paws Veterinary Hospital