Does anything sound more tortuous than brushing your dog’s teeth?
If so, you’re definitely not alone. It’s a battle just to get him to sit for the process, and then you have to run the brush over every tooth. Ugh…
But like anything, tooth brushing is a habit that your dog can learn to love over time.
Here are a few tips to help ease him into the process.
- Start now. If your dog is still a pup, you have an advantage. Not only is she easier to manage because of her smaller stature, but adopting this habit early will lead to a lifetime of good oral health. If your dog is older than the puppy stage, it’s not too late. Old dogs really can learn new tricks; it just takes a bit more work to make it stick. Start today and you’re one step closer to smooth sailing.
- Be consistent. Not only should you practice tooth brushing every day, but you should shoot for the same time each day. When your dog knows what to expect, it’ll get easier over time. At first, you may find that she runs and hides when that time comes. Don’t let this phase you. It’s normal. After some time, she’ll likely grow to enjoy the experience. Really!
- Find a tasty toothpaste. You know how they flavor kids’ toothpaste with bubblegum and cotton candy? That’s because kids like brushing their teeth about as much as your dog. Flavors are extremely important for getting your dog (or your kids) to enjoy getting their teeth brushed. If lamb is your dog’s favorite, find a lamb-flavored toothpaste. It may also help if you refrain from giving your dog this flavor in his food for a while. This way, the toothpaste will be a special treat.
- Make it special. This should be a bonding experience for you and your dog. If you think of it as torture, so will your dog. Be liberal with the belly rubs and praise throughout the process. If your dog sees this as something that makes you happy, she may be more likely to show up for it willingly. After all, dogs are people pleasers.
- Complement tooth brushing with other things. When you take other measures to clean your dog’s teeth, there won’t be as much pressure on the brushing itself. Try using an all-natural dental spray or water additive to help keep your dog’s mouth clean and healthy. If you do this, you may be able to shave some time off of each brushing session.
Oral health is so important for our four-legged best friends, and it’s not something we can skip if we want them to live long and healthy lives. Follow the tips above to keep your dog’s mouth clean and you may avoid costly vet bills in the future.
About the Author:
Christina Dillon is a freelance copywriter and dog health enthusiast. Read more about what she has to say about natural dog care products at Cheerful Canine.