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Vet-Approved Methods for Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

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Between cavities, gingivitis and tooth loss, it’s no surprise that oral hygiene is an essential part of keeping your pet healthy. Daily brushing can make all the difference in your pet’s energy by protecting it against infections, inflammation and other associated issues. For most pet owners, however, this is easier said than done. Some pets refuse to cooperate, leading to frustration for both you and them. Our veterinarians at Blue Lake Animal Hospital are here to help. Explore the following tips to make brushing your pet’s teeth an easier experience.

Find the Right Toothbrush

Before attempting to brush your pet’s teeth, make sure you have the correct supplies on hand. Using a toothbrush designed for people can be an uncomfortable experience for your pet, particularly for smaller dogs and cats. Our veterinarians suggest using a specially-made toothbrush for pets. They come in different varieties for both dogs and cats. Ideally, the toothbrush should have soft bristles and a curved handle to easily reach the back teeth.

Additionally, choose a flavored toothpaste to your pet’s liking. Many pet stores provide special kinds of toothpaste that may be more palatable, which can make the process easier for both you and your pet. 

Pick a Suitable Time

If brushing your pet’s teeth is a stressful experience, it’s not something you want to do after a long day at work. Choose a time when both you and your pet are calm. For instance, perhaps your pet is calmest after a nap, or during the evening before bed. Choosing a time helps to make brushing a natural and expected part of your pet’s routine. 

Use Proper Brushing Techniques

Just like people, brushing a pet’s teeth requires technique. Proper brushing helps to remove plaque from the teeth and gums, which prevents tartar and oral infections as a result. For best results, follow these basic guidelines:

  • Brush each side for about 30 seconds
  • Try to brush all teeth whenever possible
  • Brush along the gumline as well as the teeth

Regular brushing, paired with veterinary checkups, is key to supporting your pet’s oral health

Take Small Steps

Every pet has a different temperament. If your pet resists your efforts, using toothpaste or even a toothbrush right away may not be feasible. Get your pet comfortable with you opening their mouth. Gently open your pet’s teeth for a look to start with. Then, once your pet allows you to do so without resistance, it is time to try using a toothbrush. You may not be able to brush all of your pet’s teeth at first. Focus on the front set of teeth, and gradually work towards the back over time. Taking small steps can get your pet familiar with the brushing process, making it less of a hassle for you both. 

Visit a Veterinarian for Assistance

These vet-approved brushing tips will come in handy for any pet owner looking to improve their pet’s oral health. If you’re still having a hard time, our veterinarians at Blue Lake Animal Hospital are more than happy to assist you. Call our team to schedule an appointment where we can discuss your pet’s dental hygiene. 

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