Cats and dogs need their teeth brushed every day just as we need to brush our teeth.
Find a place in your home that will be the place for teeth brushing and stick to the one place and have a time of day that the pet is calm. It is best to start them as young as possible.
Start by handling the muzzle, touching the lips, teeth and gums with your fingers. Always reward and be patient as it will take time for you and your pet to get comfortable. Once they are comfortable with you doing that, then you can use a finger brush that goes on your finger or a soft toothbrush.
There is a pet toothpaste that is flavoured that you can purchase from your veterinary office. You can also use water flavoured with low-sodium chicken or beef bouillon for dogs and tuna juice for cats, and they’ll begin to look forward to these sessions. Never use human toothpaste!
Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth and brush gently back and forth from gum to tip. Brushing the tongue side of the teeth is less critical, but still good. The outsides of the teeth are more prone to plaque and tartar buildup. Make sure you brush back to the back teeth. Always offer a reward afterwards to keep it a good experience for you and your pet.
Stick to a routine, and you both will benefit in the end. Happy parent and happy pet!
Written by: College Manor Veterinary Hospital