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Brushing Your Dog or Cat's Teeth

Just like in humans, good oral hygiene can significantly reduce the amount of pain your pet feels. Additionally, numerous studies have proven that good oral care can reduced medical issues and lead to a longer life. The cheapest but often the most difficult solution is to regularly brush your pet's teeth. We know and understand how difficult this task can be but still encourage every pet owner to attempt this process.  Please follow our tips and call the office for further guidance. 

  •  Find an enzymatic pet toothpaste that your dog or cat likes.  There are many flavored enzymatic toothpastes to choose from (chicken, tuna, malt, etc.). You may have to try one or more to find one that is palatable to your pet.  Never use human toothpaste on your pet! if swallowed the ingredients could be toxic!  Pet toothpastes are formulated to be swallowed.

  • Offer a small amount of the toothpaste on your finger to your pet for several days.  Do not initially try to brush your pet?s teeth.  This will introduce the flavor to him or her in a pleasant way.

  • Once you know they like the toothpaste, wipe a small amount of the toothpaste on your pet's gums for the next few days. Just a quick, slight motion so that he or she can then lick the toothpaste off.

  • After a week or so of introducing the toothpaste, you can initiate brushing.  For the next several days you will use your finger as the toothbrush.  When brushing your pet's teeth, you only have to brush the teeth that you can get to with your pet's mouth closed, chewing and saliva will take care of the inside of the teeth and those that overlap.  Since dogs and cats don't get traditional cavities like people do, they don?t require the same contact time with the fluoride in toothpaste as people do.  All that is required is 15-20 seconds a day to make a big difference!

  • After your pet accepts you brushing his teeth with your finger, you can try introducing a toothbrush slowly.  Try a finger brush (they look like soft brushes on a thimble) or a soft pediatric toothbrush.  Some pets won't adapt to use of a toothbrush, in which case finger-brushing will still work quite well. 

Don't forget the main points about brushing:

1. Wash your hands after brushing your pet's teeth.

3. All it takes is 15-20 seconds, once a day for big results!

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