February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and Camp Bow Wow is offering the following tips for brushing your pups teeth to keep them sparkling and healthy.
1. Buy the Right Tools for the Job: The first step to brushing your dog’s teeth is finding the right dental equipment. Be sure to purchase a doggy toothbrush that is angled and soft. For larger breeds, opt for longer toothbrushes that can be used for hard-to-reach places. Remember to never use human toothpaste on dogs because it contains ingredients that can harm Fido’s stomach. There are many dog-friendly toothpaste options that come in fun flavors like peanut butter, beef or chicken.
2. Timing is Everything: Approach your dog when he or she is relaxed and in a good mood. Don’t force contact, because your pup may rebel against you.
3. Positioning: Make sure your dog is comfortable before beginning. Avoid standing above your dog in a threatening way. Instead, get on the same level and sit in front of your pet.
4. Prep the Gums: Test your dog’s anxiety level and willingness to have his mouth touched. Gently rub your finger on the top row of teeth and gums. You may have to repeat this step a few times before proceeding.
5. Taste Test: Place a dot of the dog toothpaste on your finger and have Fido lick it off. The key here is to find a flavor that tastes like a treat. This will make brushing a lot easier.
6. It’s All in the Technique: Start by opening your dog’s upper lip and brush along the gum line at a 45-degree angle. Continue to brush the rest of the teeth in a circular motion. Brush a few teeth at a time and focus on the plaque. Keep your dog calm throughout the process by gently patting his head or rubbing his fur.
7. Reward Your Dog: Congratulate Fido for being a good sport during the process with a healthy treat or extra playtime.
8. Establish a Routine: Daily brushing is ideal for your pet, but three times a week is a good start. Also keep in mind that dental hygiene doesn’t end with brushing. Be sure to visit your veterinarian to determine the right routine for your pup.