Taking steps to learn how to clean dog's teeth is important to your pet's overall health. Dental problems are very common in dogs and the American Veterinary Dental Society has reported that 80% of dogs will have signs of oral disease by the age of three. While veterinary care can help treat chronic dental problems, there are many simple ways to clean a dog's teeth at home.
To clean a dog's teeth, you will need:
- A finger toothbrush
- Toothpaste made for dogs
- Dog treats that clean the teeth
- Chew toys and bones
- Start with a calm dog. Make sure your dog is relaxed and happy before you attempt to brush his teeth. Get your dog in a position where you can hold him steady while you brush your dog's teeth.
- Prepare the brush. Squeeze the recommended amount of toothpaste onto the surface of the finger toothbrush and put it on your pointer finger.
Let your dog sniff and taste the toothpaste. Most toothpastes designed for dogs are flavored with poultry, beef, peanut butter or another appealing taste. Allow your dog to smell the brush and taste a small amount of the toothpaste before you try to brush the teeth.
- Work up to the whole mouth. The first time you brush your dog's teeth, plan to just brush a few in the front. This will help get your dog used to the feeling of having his or her teeth brushed without the stress of being brushed for an extended period of time.
- Brush your dog's teeth. Gently hold your dog's mouth open and using small circular motions, brush your dog's front teeth. With time and practice, you will be able to work quickly to brush your dog's front and back teeth.
Give a reward. When you have finished brushing your dog's teeth, reward the dog with a good pet and a dental treat. There are many treats available at pet stores that also help to clean and protect your dog's teeth.
- Maintain with regular brushing and treats. Brushing is the best way to keep a dog's teeth clean, but you can also offer dental treats and bones to help your dog keep his own teeth clean. Chew toys and bones help your dog remove some plaque and keep the teeth clean in between brushings.