- Start early- if you have a puppy or kitten get them used to you looking in their mouth and handling around their mouth. If your pet is older- fear not, you can teach an old dog a new trick!
- Work with your pet’s mouth- Be patient and make it fun. Use love and praise, and try to practice it at the same time every day to establish a routine. Give a treat afterward to reward your pet.
- Begin with a toothbrush- After pet is comfortable with you touching near their mouth start by using a finger brush or toothbrush with a soft head. Lift the lip and gently insert brush into the mouth. Gently brush the dog’s teeth starting at the back and working your way forward.
- Add tooth paste- ALWAYS use a tooth paste for animals and not a human tooth paste. The fluoride and detergents can be harmful if swallowed. Hold brush at 45 degree angle and brush gently back and forth or in a circular pattern from gum to tip. It is not as important to brush the inside of the teeth. Offer rewards and treats when your pet allows you to brush.
- Brush regularly- Daily brushing is best but you can make a difference by brushing at least three times weekly. Brushing less frequently or when your pet already has periodontal disease could cause discomfort.
- Choose teeth healthy treats and toys- Avoid real bones as they can fracture teeth. There are prescription diets and medicated chews that can help keep teeth healthy.
Ask the staff at Hewitt Veterinary Hospital how to keep your pet’s mouth happy and healthy!