It’s Pet Dental Health Month! So in honor of that, here’s a few tips on helping your pet get accustomed to getting his teeth brushed.
You want to keep sessions short, just like when training your pet. Take your time, be positive and use lots of praise. The first thing is that you want to get your pet use to you handling his mouth and sticking something in it.
To start out, call your pet in a voice that means it’s treat time. Use a happy, excited tone. When your pet comes, gently scratch his nose and around his lips. Lift his lip to expose the teeth. Praise him and give him a treat. You’ll want to work this up until you can hold his lip up for 30 seconds at a time.
When your pet is comfortable with you handling his mouth and lips, you can start working on letting him get used to you putting something in his mouth. Use your finger at first and rub it over his teeth. Praise him and give him a treat. You’ll want to work up to 30 to 60 seconds with this step.
When your pet is comfortable with your finger, you will want to introduce the toothbrush. Put the toothbrush over your finger and repeat the above. You’re getting closer! If your pet allows you to use the toothbrush, you’re set, if not, keep trying and working, you’ll get it! Work your way up to 60 seconds with the toothbrush.
Now you’re ready to add the toothpaste! DO NOT use a human toothpaste on your dog or cat, be sure to use a toothpaste specifically designed for animals. Put a little bit of the toothpaste on the brush and allow your pet to lick it off. Then add a little bit more and start brushing. You will want to spend about a minute on each side of your pet’s mouth. Don’t worry if you have to work up to it, it will pay off in the end.