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Knowing how to brush dog teeth is one of those crucial skills you must not only develop as a dog owner but one that you need to master.
Unfortunately, it’s the most overlooked, and often even ignored, the area of dog grooming.
Most dog owners remember to groom their dogs’ coats in order to keep it healthy and shiny and trim their nails so they don’t hurt the dog when they click while walking on the floor, but they don’t pay as much attention to their teeth.
Is it that important to clean a dog’s teeth?
Absolutely! To clean dog teeth means to clean away the plaque. This plaque, if left uncleaned, can lead to some serious problems such as gum disease or decayed teeth.
It’s also the reason behind your dog’s bad breath.
And let’s be honest here, isn’t it worth it to get to see this dazzling smile?
No, wait, not this one.
I meant this one
Yes, that’s more like it!
Okay, let’s learn how to clean a dog’s teeth in 11 super simple steps for clean dog teeth and a smile that will make you feel butterflies in your stomach.
How to Brush Dog Teeth in 9 Simple Steps
Choose the Right Time and location
When choosing a time to clean a dog’s teeth, pick a time where the dog’s relaxed and calm. In an ideal world, you would brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis, but realistically speaking, three times a week is enough.
However, even that can take some time to build up to.
Choosing a time when you have just come back from a walk or on a lazy Sunday evening where both of you are just chilling on the couch is a great idea. You also need a spot with good lighting to be able to see everything clearly.
- Get your tools ready
Of course, you will need a toothbrush for your dog. Here, you have a couple of options. An old-fashioned toothbrush or an electric one, like the one pictured above, is a good option. The one you can see in the picture is an electric toothbrush that works great for all pets.
It’s simple, comfortable to use, and effective in removing the plaque build-up and any bacteria in there. You can get it this electric pets toothbrush here.
Generally speaking, you want something that you and your dog are comfortable to use. However, be careful to NEVER use human toothpaste as it can hurt your dog’s stomach.
As a lifelong dog owner, I prefer to use something that has proven to work even better for me and for many people I know; a Bristly brushing Stick.
It’s a dog toothbrush toy that provides all the benefits and requires none of the efforts. It can fit in my dog’s mouth perfectly and self-dispenses the toothpaste. Since it’s a toy, my pooch wants to do it. It’s like tricking a child into taking their medicine by hiding it into something else, and it’s just so much more convenient for me.
I recommend you also take a look at this Dog Toothbrush Toy here, it might be the perfect solution for you, too, especially given the great price it’s currently on.
- Get them acquainted to touching their teeth
If you are going to use a traditional toothbrush for your dog, you first need to get them acquainted to something, other than food, touching their teeth.
Start when your pooch is still a puppy. Lift their top lip up and hold it there while you gently touch the teeth. Then pull their bottom lip down and touch their bottom teeth.
When your dog is okay with you handling their teeth with your hands, it’s time to introduce the toothbrush. Touch their front, side, and back teeth – top and bottom. When they are okay with that, it’s time for praise.
- Introduce the toothpaste
Show your pooch the toothpaste. Let them smell it and lick it from your fingers. Dogs are curious, so it’s a good idea to give them a chance to explore the tools before you start using it on them, this way they know it’s safe and okay.
- Start brushing
Add the toothpaste to the toothbrush and hold their upper lip up. Start by brushing their front teeth, then, when you’re done, stop and praise your pooch.
- Move to the other teeth
Now that you’re done with the front teeth, move to the side then the back teeth of your dog. Remember to be gentle during it all.
- Move to the bottom teeth
Done with the upper teeth? Great, now it’s time to hold their bottom lip down and brush the bottom teeth. Again, you should start with their front teeth and then move back to their side than back teeth.
- Brush the inside and outside
If your dog is still okay with all of this, then awesome, take this as a chance to brush both the outside and inside of their teeth. The inside of their teeth can be a bit harder to brush, and you may not be able to do this in the first couple of times of brushing their teeth.
That’s okay, you can wait until your dog is totally fine with the whole process of brushing your teeth to add this step.
- Make it a positive experience
Did they stay calm in all of this? That’s just awesome!
It really is. Brushing dog’s teeth don’t come naturally to dogs, and it feels awkward for them, so they might not okay with it.
That’s why you need to make it a positive experience by praising them after cleaning their teeth and giving them some healthy & delicious treats. You can work on removing this part of the process later on after brushing the dog’s teeth becomes natural to them, but don’t rush it, just make sure they get used to the whole thing first.
Do you want to learn more about how to brush dog teeth? We recommend watching this excellent WebMD’s video on how to brush your dog’s teeth that explains it very simply in 2 minutes only.
We hope this has been helpful, if you have some questions, we would love to hear about them in the comments below.