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Brushing Your Dog's Teeth

Posted: 9/18/2008 | Updated: 3/3/2011

Brushing Your Dog's Teeth

Brushing your dog's teeth is a very important part of their overall health and happiness. Just like humans, if a dog has dental issues it can cause problems with other parts of the body. With all the advances in dog health and wellness, it is extremely important to make sure your dog's Dental Health is kept up as well.

So, how do you begin brushing your dog's teeth? It is important to remember this should be a learning process at first. You cannot expect the dog to just open their mouth and say 'ah' the first time you present the brush. It may take several days, weeks or months for your dog to be comfortable with you brushing their teeth depending on their age, sensitivity, etc.

First, you should take a trip to your local pet store and pick up a Dog Toothbrush and Toothpaste. Dog toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors that your dog will love including poultry, beef and peanut. There are also several different types of brushes available. One of the most common is a long handled brush with large bristles on one end and smaller ones on the other. There is also a finger brush that you slip on over your finger with small bristles on one side. Be sure to choose a brush that fits the size of your dog's mouth. There are many other types as well depending on your store's selection, but one of those two types should generally work best.

** It is important not to use human toothpaste to brush your Dog's teeth. Dogs have no way of spitting out the toothpaste like we do and human toothpaste should not be swallowed. **

Now that you have the necessities you are ready to begin actually brushing your dog's teeth. Find a nice quiet, comfortable location in which to sit with your dog. It is important to always sit in the same location while you are teaching them. Dogs have a tendency to learn a routine quickly and this will help them learn.

The first few attempts may not go as well as you hope but don't get discouraged. It is best to start this routine as soon as possible. If you have a puppy start today! If your dog is not used to you putting your finger in their mouth this would be a good place to start. Carefully put your finger in their mouth along the outside of the teeth. Gently rub your finger along all the teeth on both sides of the mouth. If this goes well you can try putting a little paste on your finger and repeating the process. If this step does not go well, stop for a while and try the process again later.

It may take a few days for your dog to get comfortable with this process. It is important to never progress until your dog is first comfortable with the current step. Next, try putting a little paste on the brush and repeat the process of gently rubbing the outside of the dog's teeth. Don't try to open the dog's mouth too wide, most dogs won't like this and it will make them fight against you. ypically the inside of the dog's teeth don't get too much tarter and build up, so focus mainly on the outside of them especially the canines and the back teeth where the majority of the tarter forms.

Make sure while your dog is learning this process to quit each session before they start to fuss and fight. Once they do it will be hard to continue and if you quit they will associate that behavior with making you stop and it will be more difficult the next time.

If done properly brushing your dog's teeth can be an easy and enjoyable task that only takes a couple of minutes. Typically you should brush your dog's teeth 2 to 4 times a week, the more the better of course. Couple this with the proper dental chews and other health routines and you will have a happy and healthy dog for years to come.

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