Dental Cleaning Tips for your Pet

January 06, 2016

Dental Cleaning Tips for your Pet

The second most important part of pet grooming is brushing.

Even if our pets are not as prone to cavities as we humans are, your pets can still develop problems like tartar and plaque buildup and gingivitis if the brushing of their teeth is ignored.

Brushing your pet’s teeth ensures healthy teeth and gums, it helps improve their health in it’s entirety.

Maintaining a good oral hygiene helps prevent tooth decay, ensuring that in your pet’s later years it will be still able to chew strongly.

When you brush, you prevent tartar build up which ensures that your pets gums do not get diseased and inflamed and also prevents bacterial infections which can spread into the bloodstream and actually lead to life-threatening infections and issues including heart, liver, and kidney disease.

The bottom line is that taking time to groom your pets by brushing their teeth, improves their health, prolongs their life and gives them a happier smile and better breath.

The teeth of your pets should be brushed daily just like yours.


Use Pet Approved Quality Toothpaste

You should never share your tube of toothpaste with your pet as human toothpastes contain foaming agents that aren’t meant to be swallowed however pets just don’t get the ideal and swallow, toothpaste designed for humans can make them sick.

When first deciding on a brand of toothpaste for your pet, it’s recommended that you go small you can ask your pet’s veterinarian for sample tubes to try out when you find a toothpaste that tastes good to your pet, you can then buy larger tubes.
Taste is a very important factor to consider when choosing a toothpaste for your pet.

If a toothpaste tastes unpleasant to your dog, brushing time will be a struggle with you trying to force it and your pet wondering why you want it to put something that tastes so unpleasant in his mouth.

Toothpastes comes in different flavors, for a dog, a meat flavor might do the trick but note that not all dogs love meat flavored paste, try to find a flavor that your pet enjoys, it may take several tries but the stress is worth is as the more your dog likes the flavor of the paste, the easier brushing time will be.

However, the taste isn’t all there is to consider, The effectiveness of pet’s toothpaste is equally important. The chosen paste should efficiently remove plaque and tartar.



The first step to brushing your pets teeth is the timing, pick a time when your pet is calm and relaxed.

  • Assume a position that ensures your dog is comfortable, not standing above it & trying to force it down as it might feel threatened.
  • Try sitting besides or in-front him/her. As you prepare to brush, take note of your pet’s anxiety level, if it seems agitated or upset, there’s no need to force it, wait for another time. Rub your fingers along its upper gum and teeth, this helps it gets used to having pressure exerted on its teeth.
  • Raise your dogs upper lip and gently position your brush on a 45 degree angle to the gum-line. Brush by moving the brush back and front, some groomers also recommend a circular movement.

If your pet experiences light bleeding while being brushed, do not be alarmed as it’s normal. However if heavy bleeding occurs, it might be a sign that you are brushing too hard.
If you’re brushing as light as possible and your pet still experiences bleeding, it’s a sign of gum diseases, take it to your vet for advice and treatment.

  • Do not immediately go for a full brush at a start, you can start by brushing both upper canines a day, When your dog accepts having several teeth brushed, slowly increase the number of teeth you are brushing. Two minutes should be the maximum time set for brushing your pets teeth.
  • Ensure that the mood while you're brushing your dog's teeth is kept light. Keep talking to your pet throughout your daily brushing, saying exactly what you're doing, this should be complemented by stroking it’s jowl and patting of the head while constantly saying what a good pet he/she is.
  • Endeavor to end every brushing session on a positive note, reward your pet with it’s favorite treat and extra attention. Always reward and praise your pet after brushing as the reward and praise gets associated with brushing and your pet would consider brushing as a positive and rewarding experience and would actually start looking forward to each brushing session.

Setting a schedule and keeping to it helps in getting your pet used to brushing as after a while your dog knows when to expect its daily brush.

It’s important to note that good dental care does not end with brushing alone, there are Other dental care items for your pets, they include

Water-piks: This dental system has been developed for dogs. It works on the same principle as similar devices for humans. Chlorhexidine is added to the water to kill the bacteria in the mouth, and the water stream removes the plaque. For pets with delicate gums that bleeds when a brush is used, this is especially useful.


 It has been discovered through research that hard kibbles are slightly better at keeping plaque from accumulating on the teeth.

Avoid feeding dogs table scraps or sweet treats as that increases the build up of plaque and tartar, and can lead to other health problems.

Toys: Certain chews and treats can also help you fight plaque buildup they includes toys such as Plaque Attacker dental toys, rope toys, or rawhide chips. Do not use toys that are abrasive as these can  wear down the teeth.

Treats: There are some dental chews on the market that are specifically designed to help control plaque and tartar buildup.

Note- 85% of cats & dogs over 4 years of age are affected by periodontal disease which can be easily prevented by brushing daily, so get brushing and save your pet’s tooth.


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