Some of our canine friends are a bit prone to the build up of plaque on their teeth. Sometimes we can help them along holistically, sometimes we need help from our wonderful veterinarians.
I personally start brushing my puppies teeth at around 8 to 10 weeks of age. Nothing to serious, I do this so they are used to me being in their mouths and they get used to the toothbrush.
How to brush your dogs teeth
You may want to use a dog specific toothbrush. Now there are numerous variations of this, I like the one that slips onto my finger, I find the easiest to use, or you may want to try a childs soft toothbrush. There are lots of different dog-specific toothpastes, NEVER use human toothpaste on your dog!!! Dog toothpaste comes in a variety of doggy approved flavors like peanut butter or poultry.
Begin by getting yourself into position, kneel or sit by your dogs head. You don’t want to crowd or restrain your dog, this will only make them fearful and scared of having their teeth brushed.
Start by getting your dog used to light pressure on their teeth and gums. If you have never brushed your dogs teeth or handled their mouth you can start by rubbing your fingers along their teeth and gums. This will help your dog get used to having his/her teeth touched. Do not be surprised if your canine friend is not a huge fan of this. Take it slowly, maybe add a little of the flavored toothpaste to the end of your finger. Remember to not restrain your dog. This may take multiple sessions, be patient and reassure your friend, speak in low, reassuring tones, pet them, calm them.
After your dog has had a chance to get used to you touching their mouth it is time to start brushing. Gently place the toothbrush at an angle to the gumline. This will better clear away plaque than placing the toothbrush flat against the tooth. Use gentle circular motions across all the top and bottom teeth. I have found that when starting it is easier to do one section of the mouth at a time rather than trying to do all at once. Start by brushing half the upper teeth, let your friend relax. It may take a couple of days to do the entire mouth, but by taking your time and reassuring your canine friend, over time you will be able to sit and brush their entire mouth and it will be a positive experience for them. Always be gentle, reassuring and always end with treats and praise.
Try to brush their teeth every few day or once a week.