Your dog's dental hygiene is as important as your own. Keeping your dog's teeth clean and maintained not only gives him a better chance at fighting periodontal disease but can also improve his overall health. Many dog owners complain about brushing their dog's teeth because dogs don't enjoy it, but frankly it's not very fun for owners either. If you teach your dog to brush, it will be easier for you both. The American Veterinary Medical Association says Up to 65% of dogs with periodontal disease are left untreated. With proper dental care from the start, this number could be much lower. Your dog can retain his healthy teeth for his entire life if you could just teach him to keep them brushed and cleaned.
To get started on training your dog to brush his teeth you are going to need some very important tools such as a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Be sure not to use human toothpaste. Fluoride, which is often found in human toothpaste, is poisonous to dogs. Dog toothpaste can be found at your veterinarian's office as well as your local pet store. Picking out the perfect toothbrush for your dog is also important. Studies have shown that a double headed toothbrush with bristles at a 45-degree angle is best to clean the gum line, which is important for your dog's overall dental health. You might want to be prepared with some extra treats as well and maybe even a partner for the first few times until your dog gets used to the toothbrush and the motion in their mouth.
How do I get my dogs teeth brush with out him moving before I can get the tooth brush in his mouth??
Hello Iyanna, First, use a dog specific flavored toothpaste so that pup wants the toothbrush near their mouth. I typically start by letting pup lick a tiny bit of the toothpaste off the brush (dog specific so not toxic), then add a tiny bit more, do the next part of teeth, and repeat with right and left sides. Have pup on a leash tethered to something nearby so that if pup gets distracted they don't go far, then entice them with the smell of a treat or the paste to come back over and let you finish. This is going to a a chaotic feeling process for the first couple of months with puppy. As it becomes a norm and puppy isn't afraid of overly excited about it anymore, it should get easier, but don't let pup wander off during the process (it should be relaxing and fun but not optional to do at least a bit), and keep your energy calm. Once he is used to the brush and likes the brushing, you can begin to gently cup your hand under his chin, brush a bit, then feed a treat or let them lick the brush, then cup the chin, do the next part, feed a treat or let them lick the brush, then repeat. As they improve you should be able to brush more with the chin cupped before giving the reward until you can just brush them and reward at the end...Go gradually to keep teeth brushing as pleasant as you can with puppy. The main goal now is to teeth him to tolerate is and be relaxed about it and not fearful. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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