Brushing your pets’ teeth is a great way to check for any dental problems that have occurred whilst creating a great bond between yourself and your pet (providing they like having their teeth brushed!) Introducing a routine from an early age brings the most benefits to your pet’s oral hygiene, however it’s not too late if this hasn’t been introduced or maintained from an early age. It’s completely possible to get your older dog or cat introduced to a new dental regime, but it may take some patience and lots of positive reinforcements – remember not too many treats as that just defeats the point!
We also know how difficult it can be for your pet to allow you to brush their teeth, our Mia is having none of it! In cases like this, tooth gel is a great option. Simply apply the gel to your pets’ teeth and they will naturally move this product with their tongue around their mouth. Voila! Cleaner teeth!
Just like for us parents, brushing your pets’ teeth helps to remove plaque and tartar promoting healthy teeth and gums as well as getting rid of that pongy breath!
If you are new to brushing, below are 4 simple steps with some photos to help you out:
- Start by lifting their lips, whilst providing lots of fuss and praise, to expose their teeth. When they have gotten used to the outside of their mouth being touched, start to run your finger along their teeth
- Once they have adjusted to this, start to introduce the toothpaste and toothbrush that you will be using. Firstly, introduce the toothpaste by placing a small amount on your finger and allowing them to lick it off. This will allow them to get used to the taste as well as seeing this as a treat.
- After they have been introduced to the taste, repeat the step but with the toothbrush you will be using instead of your finger.
- When your pet has become comfortable with the process and instruments, start by brushing a few teeth and gradually build this up until all teeth can be brushed.
Toothpastes are available in a variety of flavours including meat flavours which may appeal more to your pet. For smaller dogs and cats or pets that don’t like the intrusion of a generic toothbrush, a Finger Toothbrush may be better suited. These toothbrushes allow you to get closer to your pet as well as providing greater accuracy as these fit onto your finger. Just make sure they are happy for you to brush so you don’t lose any fingers!
When brushing your pets’ teeth remember:
- Ensure they are as calm as possible before starting to ensure their and your own safety
- Make sure your pet has their own toothbrush to prevent any bacterial cross contamination
- Daily brushing is the best way to keep your pet’s oral health in top condition, however 2-3 times a week will be enough in making a difference
- Tooth brushing isn’t appropriate for everyone. Tooth gel is a great alternate and provides clean teeth and fresh breath without the need for brushing.