Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth: 5 Easy Tips

I know some pet owners may not be sure of the process of brushing their pet’s teeth, so I thought I’d share a demo and a few tips to help you along the way!

It’s really important to do this gradually and in “baby steps”, as it will help make the process easier for both you and your pet as you go along.

  1. Start by handling your pet’s muzzle area for a few seconds on a regular basis, so that your pet can get used to your hands being around his/her mouth. The best time to do this is when it is quiet and calm.Be sure to end each sessions on a positive note, so that your pet knows it did a good job and that you are pleased!
  2. When your pet has become used to having your hands around/in its mouth, it is a good time to introduce a toothpaste for pets. The toothpaste can come in a variety of flavours such as beef, chicken and even vanilla mint!Introduce a small amount of toothpaste on your finger. Start with the canine teeth (fangs) and gradually work around the entire mouth. Be sure to include the gums as well as the teeth.Please do not use human toothpaste on your pets, because it isn’t good for them to swallow it (I would prefer beef flavoured toothpaste over spearmint anyway!)
  3. Now it’s time to introduce the toothbrush! Please use a toothbrush that has been recommended by your vet. Wet the bristles of the toothbrush, then place a line of toothpaste on it, pressing it firmly into the bristles with your finger. Using the toothbrush, concentrate solely on the canine teeth using a gentle circular motion.As you can see, I love the toothpaste and can’t stop trying to lick it off!
  4. When your pet is used to having his/her canines brushed, you can now start to work along the top teeth from the canines to the back of the mouth using a gentle circular motion. Gradually build up the amount of time and pressure applied to each tooth.The good news is, you do not need to brush the insides of your pet’s teeth because most of the tartar occurs on the outside surface.
  5. The last step is to brush the front teeth. Gently take hold of your pet’s muzzle and lift the upper lip. Use an up and down motion on the front teeth.

The more frequent your pet’s teeth are brushed, the easier it will become and the better your pet’s dental health will become.


Written by Morinville Veterinary Clinic