Is doggy breath getting you down?

Few things warm the heart like kisses from your furry best friend. But when Fido’s breath is bad, a handshake is better.

Knowing how to brush your dog’s teeth doesn’t have to be a big deal. Keep reading to learn how to keep your dog’s breath smelling fresh.

Why Brush?

Chances are that your dog has a lot of things going in their mouth. From food to sticks to whatever they found on the sidewalk, dogs use their mouths to understand the world.

Regular brushing helps to keep their teeth clean and gums strong. Without brushing, plaque can build. Gum disease can also be an issue if mouth-care is neglected.

Worst of all, a mouth infection can lead to considerable pain for your pet (to say nothing of pricey vet bills.)

Build a Routine

Your dog probably won’t enjoy the first few times you brush their teeth. If something’s going to be in their mouth, they’d rather be chewing it then letting it scrub their teeth.

That’s why you need to keep the practice up. Over time, your pup will learn to accept and even enjoy the process.

Use the Right Brush and Paste

What type of brush should you use? A dog-specific toothbrush with soft bristles will do.

If yours is a smaller dog, you can use a finger-brush to keep things clean. If your furry friend is on the larger side, get a brush with a longer handle. Having the appropriate brush will make things much easier.

You’ll also need to make sure you’re using a toothpaste designed for dogs. Human toothpaste uses chemicals that can be harmful to canines. Dog-friendly toothpaste can come in pleasing flavors like peanut butter or beef.

Keep Things Calm

A comfortable dog is far easier to clean than an anxious one. Make sure that the environment is quiet and the dog is cozy.

Keep an eye on their behavior as you brush. If they seem upset or antsy, take a break and let them calm down.

Ease Them Into It

Break the process down into steps. Spend time running your fingers across their gums and teeth so they get used to the sensation.

Let them sample the toothpaste and sniff the toothbrush. The more familiar they become with everything, the calmer they’ll be.

Brush in Circles

When you finally use the toothbrush, use a circular motion. Start on one side, then the other, getting both the top and bottom rows.

Run the brush along the gums. Light bleeding is normal. Heavy bleeding can be cause for concern, so notify your vet if this occurs.

Aim to build up to two minutes of brushing. The first several sessions may be much shorter, and that’s okay. As long as you stick with the practice.

Reassure and Reward

Dogs love to please. Letting them know that they’re being the best Good Boy in the World goes a long way to keeping them happy.

They also deserve a big reward when you’re finished. They’ll learn to love the brushings when they know a treat comes at the end.

The Final Word on How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

You already know how important it is to keep your dog healthy. Regular mouth-care is an important part of keeping them clean and happy.

Knowing how to brush your dog’s teeth is one of the ways you can make sure they live a long and happy life.

For more information on caring for your dog, visit our How-to section.

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Family man and dog lover. I know two things: anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like has never washed a dog, and there are no bad days when you come home to a dog's love.


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