Best to Brush
Follow along as Dr. Marian Shuler Holladay (DVM, CVA) walks us through the beginnings of teaching your pet to allow teeth brushing. The same principles apply to both cats and dogs.
- The first step is to pick a pet tooth cleaning device you are comfortable with. There are finger brushes, wands, or mini toothbrushes.
- Start with acquainting your pet with the paste. Think “treat time!” Allow your pet to lick the paste as it is offered on the brush like a treat. *TIP: This may be all you do today. Wait another day before moving on to step 3 if your pet is less willing to have his or her teeth brushed.
- Apply a small amount of toothpaste ( pets prefer poultry or liver flavors over minty) to the brush and work in a circular motion along the gumline on the outer (or cheek) surface of the teeth. The outer surface is where most of the plaque and tartar accumulate, especially on the canine (fang-like) teeth and the large teeth in the back. Don’t forget the back corners! *TIP: You may only be able to accomplish one side of the mouth when your pet is just learning to tolerate this important task. That’s ok! Just try again the next day, brushing the other side!
- When finished, don’t forget to PRAISE your pet! Show plenty of love and let them have a positive experience of brushing. Soon they’ll be begging you for toothpaste time!
Be patient. Remember that this is a training event for your pet. Especially in adult or older pets, this may take a few sessions before they tolerate brushing time! Use plenty of praise and go slowly. Some pets will need several days to weeks to get comfortable an willing to allow teeth brushing and proper dog and cat dental care. It really is be best thing you can do for pet dental health, so stick with it, and don’t hesitate to call us for more tips if needed! Happy brushing!