February is Pet Dental Health Month! Taking care of your dog’s teeth is a very important but often overlooked aspect of Fido’s care regimen. In this article, a North Phoenix, AZ vet offers some tips on brushing dogs’ teeth.

Use The Right Products

Only use toothbrushes and toothpastes that were made for pets. Products made for people are neither safe nor suitable for Fido. (Tip: choose a flavored toothpaste to make the process more pleasant for your furry friend.)

Start Easy

Don’t expect your canine pal to immediately accept having his teeth cleaned. You’ll need to gradually get him used to the idea. Start by just gently rubbing his teeth and gums with your finger. Choose a time when he is relaxed. You probably won’t have much luck if you try to do this right before it’s time for a walk, so work this into evening doggy cuddle/hangout time instead. Once your pooch has gotten used to you handling his teeth and gums, add some pet toothpaste to your finger. (We know, this is a bit icky, but it’s only for training.) Then, you can start using a doggy toothbrush and toothpastes.

Reward The Pup

The best way to help Fido form a ‘pawsitive’ opinion about something is for you to teach him to associate it with something he likes. Food, naturally, is the top choice here. Give your pooch a yummy snack whenever you finish brushing his teeth. It will also help to praise him and offer him belly rubs or ear scritches.

Rotate

You don’t have to do your dog’s entire mouth every day. Just try to do one quadrant a day, and keep rotating. Once you and Fido are used to this routine, it will only take a few minutes!

Other Options

If your furry pal won’t sit still long enough for you to brush his teeth, there are still other ways to keep his mouth healthy. Ask your vet for tips on using dental-formula kibble, treats, and chews. (Tip: try putting doggy toothpaste on a chew stick.) Oral rinses can also be effective. Making sure your pet always has suitable chew toys will help as well. Finally, keep Fido’s water bowl filled with fresh, clean water.

Do you know or suspect that your pup has dental issues? Contact us today! As your North Phoenix, AZ vet clinic, we’re here to help!