How to Groom a Large Dog's Teeth

Easy
15 - 20 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

Your pup jumps on your bed and wakes you up by licking your face, only to try and suffocate you with what has to be the world's worst doggy breath. Sounds like somebody hasn't been brushing his teeth every day like he should. Oh, wait a minute, he doesn't have an opposable thumb and can't brush his teeth. This is one of those things he has to count on you for, so take a few minutes and learn how easy it is to brush your pup's teeth now and keep his gum's healthier for the rest of his life. 

Dog's Perspective

No dog starts out liking the idea of having someone stick a brush in his mouth. Most will try and run at the sight of a toothbrush. Your pup couldn't care less if he has bad breath or a Hollywood smile. However, you should care, as brushing his teeth daily will help prevent gum disease and many other dental problems. 

The Taste Test Method

Effective
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Toothbrush
Step
1
Shop first
Head out to your favorite pet store and pick up several flavors of doggy toothpaste (be sure it is vet-approved) and a nifty doggy toothbrushes. It comes in irresistible flavors like chicken, duck, liver, salmon, and many more. Your pup is sure to like at least one of these.
Step
2
Skip the human aisle
As tempting as it might be to cut costs and pick up a cheap tube of human toothpaste, you must never do this. Human toothpastes often contain fluoride and other chemicals known to be toxic to dogs.
Step
3
Taste test time
Rotating through each flavor, put a small dab on your finger and offer it to your pup. Odds are, his reactions will tell you which one he likes the most.
Step
4
Going up
Using one hand, gently lift his upper lip on one side and start brushing his molars in circular motions. He should open his mouth automatically, but if not, a little pressure should convince him to. Be very gentle here, too much pressure could injure his gums. Be sure you get the molars way in the back of his mouth.
Step
5
Front and center
Finish up by brushing his front teeth. The whole thing should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes and needs to be done every day at the same time to avoid confusion.
Recommend grooming method?

The Start 'em Young Method

Effective
0 Votes
Toothbrush
Step
1
Shopping spree
This is a good time to go on a bit of a shopping spree at your favorite pet store. You will need a tube of vet-approved doggy toothpaste, a vet-approved doggy toothbrush, and a pack of tasty doggy dental treats.
Step
2
From day one
As soon as your pup starts eating solid food, you should be ready to start brushing his teeth. The younger he is when you start, the easier it will be to get him to accept this as part of his daily routine.
Step
3
Take a hike
You will find it much easier to brush your dog's teeth when he is tired. While he is a small pup and not going for walks, simply tire him out by playing with him. As he gets older, you can take him for a nice walk before you brush his teeth.
Step
4
A slow start
Lift your pup's upper lip or open his mouth, whichever works best. Start slowly and gently brushing his teeth. Give him time to get used to the toothpaste and the brushing action. Brush one side of his mouth and then the other. If he fusses too much, go ahead and stop. Try again the next night. In time he will get used to it and stop fussing.
Step
5
Every day for the win
Get into a good routine of brushing your pup's teeth every day. Keep it at the same time to create a routine your pup can get used to. Praise him when you are done and give him a dental stick treat to chew on.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Never, repeat NEVER, use toothpaste that has fluoride in it or is made for human use. Many of these ingredients are known to be bad for your pup's health.
  • Use a doggy toothbrush, not a human one, the heads sit at different angles. Those made for humans will not reach all of your pup's teeth.
  • Go slowly and do not apply too much pressure to the brush. Your pup's gums can be easily damaged if you get too rough.
  • Being too rough can also make it much harder to get your dog to let you brush his teeth.
  • You should take your dog in to see his vet for an annual dental checkup and cleaning.
  • Make sure you brush your pup's teeth every day, he is counting on you. 

Conclusion

The earlier you start brushing your pup's teeth the easier it will be to stop him from fussing. Keeping his teeth nice and clean should only take a few minutes a day. But, what price can you put on making sure your pup has good teeth and gums? It's a very easy skill to master and your dog will thank you with sweet doggy breath for the rest of his life. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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