How to Brush a Small Dog's Teeth

Medium
15 - 20 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

No matter how small your dog happens to be, his teeth need to be brushed on a daily basis just like your own teeth. Think about it for a second--how bad is your pup's breath when he goes to "kiss" your face? If it smells like last week's dinner, then it's up to you to do something about it. Although dogs are lucky enough to not have to worry about cavities the same way we do, they still have to worry about gum disease, which is where you, a toothbrush, and some dog-friendly toothpaste come in. 

Dog's Perspective

Your dog probably doesn't care what his breath smells like or if his teeth are yellow. The only time he is likely to worry about oral hygiene is when his gums become infected and painful. The best thing you can do is start brushing your pup's teeth at a very early age. This will help him get used to the brush before he has time to be upset about it. 

The Meet Your Toothpaste Method

Effective
0 Votes
Toothbrush
Step
1
Head to the store first
Before you can start brushing your pup's teeth, you need to go shopping. You are looking for a doggy toothbrush and some vet-approved toothpaste. The good news is that doggy toothpaste comes in a range of very tasty flavors.
Step
2
Skip the human stuff
Bear in mind, you should never try to use your own toothpaste on your dog's teeth. The fluoride, along with several other ingredients, are known to be toxic to dogs.
Step
3
Take the taste test
There are several different flavors of toothpaste for you to choose from. You may find your pup has to try more than one to find the right toothpaste (one that he will not freak out over). Place a dab of each flavor on the tip of a finger and let him taste each one until you know which one he likes the best.
Step
4
Up-lifting
Gently lift up one upper lip, exposing the teeth on this side and allowing you to gently brush his upper and lower teeth inside and out. Be sure you brush his gums as well. Repeat for the other side.
Step
5
Front and rear
Make sure you brush his front teeth, his rear molars, and all of his gums. You should be brushing his teeth on a daily basis and supplementing this with dental chews to help keep his teeth and gums healthy. They will also give him nice, fresh breath.
Recommend grooming method?

The Start as a Puppy Method

Effective
0 Votes
Toothbrush
Step
1
Shopping time
For this you will need a special dog toothbrush. These brushes have a different head-angle than those made for humans. You will also need a tube of vet-approved toothpaste. It cannot be over said that you should never use products made for humans, as they can make your dog very sick or result in death.
Step
2
A young age
The best way to get your dog used to having his teeth brushed, is to start when he is very young. Like many other things you need to teach your pup, the earlier you get started, the easier it will be for both of you to master this skill.
Step
3
Make it easy for yourself
Small dogs tend to be fidgety, making it difficult for you to brush their teeth. One thing you can do to make things a little easier is to take him out for a long walk first. Not only will this help to tire him out and relax him, it gives him time to go potty.
Step
4
Slow and steady does it
Add a little dab of toothpaste to the toothbrush, let your pup have a good sniff, then let him taste it. By now he should have his mouth open, giving you the opportunity to start gently brushing his teeth. Once you get started, keep going. Brush his teeth and gums inside and out. Don't forget those rear molars. Take your time and make sure you get everywhere.
Step
5
Rinse and repeat
The rest is all about making sure you brush your pup's teeth every day. While he may not be susceptible to cavities, he is subject to gum disease. Daily oral hygiene is as important to the health your dog's mouth as it is to yours.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • The most important thing to remember is that you should NEVER use toothpaste that is made for humans. It contains fluoride and many other chemicals that are toxic to dogs and could kill your pup.
  • The same applies to his toothbrush, those made for humans don't have the right head angle and may not be able to reach all of your pup's teeth.
  • Take your time, brush gently, and work your way over each tooth. Too much pressure on the brush can injure your pup's gums.
  • If regular brushing doesn't remove discoloration, you may need to take your pup to see his vet for a professional cleaning under anesthesia.
  • Being overly rough with the toothbrush can make it more difficult to get your pup to let you brush his teeth.
  • Be sure to take your pup to see his vet for an annual dental exam and cleaning. This will give the vet a chance to check his teeth and gums for signs of damage.
  • Be sure you brush your pup's teeth every day to reduce the risk of gum disease and, of course, that oh-so-lovely doggy breath. 

Conclusion

The earlier you start brushing your pup's teeth the better. Young pups are far more accepting of things like this, making the process much easier as your pup grows older. Brush them daily to help ensure your pup's teeth and gums remain healthy for as long as he lives. Can you imagine your dog with false teeth?

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!