Dog Teeth Brushing Tips – How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Yourself

Dog teeth must be kept in good condition. That is, if you want your dog to live a long, healthy life.

It’s true. Brushing your dog’s teeth can add 5 years to his life!

How?

Because things like gum disease and tooth decay are often hard to see, yet a dog’s general health is directly influenced by how healthy his teeth and gums are.

Once infection sets in, it can sometimes be difficult to treat and it could compromise your dog’s health in other ways.

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs show signs of oral disease by age 3! It’s worth noting thatbad breath is one of the first signs of dental diseasein pets.

So, those are the most common reasons to brush your dog’s teeth. However, from one dog owner to another, here’sanother reason to brush your dog’s teeth.

Imagine if you stopped brushing your own teeth! Your dog’s teeth are no different.

What Are The Options?

There are 2 ways to maintain healthy dog teeth:

A professional dog teeth cleaning isn’t cheap. So it’s best to do it yourself — regularly.

When To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

If possible, start brushing your dog’s teeth when he’s still a puppy, or that first day when you bring your new dog home.

That way, he will get used to the process early. He will quickly learn that teeth brushing is a normal activity around here and it’s done quite a lot!

The dogs that don’t mind having their teeth brushed are those that have had them brushed since puppyhood.

The dog that put up the biggest fight and resist having their teeth brushed are those that are older and not used to having it done.

How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

First, use these tips toget your dog used to the processof having your fingers in and around his mouth.

Next, here’s how to brush your dog’s teeth, step-by-step:

  1. Put dog toothpaste(not human toothpaste!) on your finger and allow your dog to lick some of it off.
  2. Start with 1 tooth.  Put the doggie toothpaste on a dog toothbrush (they’re angled differently and easier to use than human toothbrushes) or adog finger brush (my personal favorite) and rub in the toothpaste where the tooth meets the gum line.
  3. Do not brush your dog’s teeth like you brush your own teeth. Instead, just smear the toothpaste on your dog’s tooth — 1 tooth at a time.  Dog toothpaste is made to dissolve the plaque without much rubbing or scrubbing.
  4. If the first tooth went well, then try the same thing on another tooth. Until your dog gets used to having his teeth brushed, you may need to do only a few teeth at a time — in one sitting.

Most dogs (mine included) absolutely love the taste of doggie toothpaste and will beg for more of it! That’s good, because you want the experience to be a positive one for your dog. So keep giving your dog lots of praise every time you get another tooth done. And at the very end of the tooth brushing session, give your dog one of his all-time favorite dog treats as a reward for getting his teeth brushed.

This video demonstrates each of the steps mentioned above:

Still unsure about brushing your dog’s teeth?

Here is another great instructional video showing how to brush your dog’s teeth.

Daily Maintenance For Clean Dog Teeth

In between dog teeth brushings (or professional teeth cleanings), you can help keep your dog’s teeth clean by giving him doggy chew toys, bones, and healthy dog treats.

A proper dental chew can reduce plaque by up to 69%. —Gail Rapport, DVM

Examples oftoys that help to clean dog teethinclude:

When your dog bites and chews on these types of things, it helps to remove the plaque from his teeth and gums.

Feeding your dog dry kibble instead of soft dog food helps too. But it’s no substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth.

Finally, there are some dog-safe products that help to loosen and remove the plaque from your dog’s teeth. Some improve bad dog breath at the same time:

Do you brush your dog’s teeth? Got any time-saving or money-saving tips to share with fellow dog owners?…

More Dog Teeth Tips

ASPCA: 10 Steps To Your Dog’s Dental Health

Professional Dog Teeth Cleaning vs Doing It Yourself

Dog Dental Care 101

About Lynnette

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).

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