Should I Brush My Pet’s Teeth?
You can probably guess that it’s very important to brush your pet’s teeth. But why? And, more pressingly, how? Here are some helpful tips on brushing your pet’s teeth.
Why Should You Brush Your Pet’s Teeth?
First, let’s start with the why. Just as it’s vital for you to brush your teeth, it’s absolutely necessary to brush your pet’s teeth. Our pet’s teeth are vulnerable to the same issues that our teeth are, and by brushing them, you’re ensuring your pet is in good oral health. When we don’t brush our teeth, tartar and plaque build up and cause dental issues such as gingivitis, cavities, tooth loss, gum disease, and bad breath. Same goes for your pet. These issues can lead to even more serious problems for your pet, including liver, kidney, and heart problems that cause chronic pain. By brushing your pet’s teeth you are taking care of both their oral and overall health.
How Should You Brush Your Pet’s Teeth?
Now for the how. It’s vital that you establish a tooth brushing routine with your pet so they know it needs to happen regularly and isn't just one time. First, find a good time to brush your pet’s teeth, ideally sometime when you know they feel relaxed and comfortable. You will also need toothpaste and a toothbrush made for pets, which you can find at your pet store or online.
To start, kneel or sit in front of them. You never want to hold your pet down or stand over them as this can upset them and even make them anxious or aggressive. Then, take your finger and rub it along their teeth and gums, using light pressure so that you can test how willing they are to have something in their mouth. Next, spread a little bit of their toothpaste on your finger, and have them sniff and taste it so they can get acclimated to it.
Once you have all of your tools and your pet is comfortable with you near and in their mouth, lift your pet’s upper lid and gently brush their teeth and gums with the toothbrush. Work slowly and in small circles until you’ve brushed their entire mouth. Make sure you are getting their canines and the outside of their teeth, which is where plaque builds up.
When the brushing is finally over, reward your pet with a treat, playtime, or even some extra love. It’s important that your pet see tooth brushing time as something good and to look forward to.
While your pet’s oral health is important, don’t forget your own! Call us today to schedule an appointment.