Brushing your dog’s teeth is the best way to ensure overall good oral health and that is directly related to your dog’s overall health so it’s a very important thing to do. Brushing is always a good idea and it’s something that you want to start doing quite early with your pet preferably when they are puppies.

It’s recommended that you brush your teeth once a day but if you can’t do it every single day at least try to get your dog’s teeth brushed 2-3 times a week. It helps to wash off the plaque, which may cause bad breath and some serious dental problems in dogs. 

10 steps to Brush Your Dog

Step 1: Do it at the perfect time: When the dog is calm and relaxed that would be the right time for brushing. You can set a proper routine while brushing your pet daily. If your dog’s mouth looks healthy for you, brushing 2 or 3 times a week can do great. If you don’t brush your dog’s teeth, plaque will build up, creating some dental decay like gum disease, risk of bad breath, and tooth decay. All these problems can create eating issues and sometimes can be life-threatening. 

Step 2: Grab your tools: In tools, you will need a toothbrush meant for dogs. These brushes are soft and angled in a certain way, which helps to clean their teeth really well. Finger brushes can work wonders for small puppies. For large dogs, long-handled brushes can give you a better grip and hold. Make sure to use dog toothpaste. These kinds of toothpaste don’t have any harmful chemicals that can harm dogs. Don’t use toothpaste which is meant for humans, they contain xylitol which is fatal for dogs. 

Step 3: Find the perfect spot: Sit in the perfect spot where your dog feels comfortable. Sit in front of your dog’s mouth so that your grip on the dog’s mouth is firm. There should be proper lighting so you can clearly see his teeth. Keep your dog comfortable. If your dog feels uncomfortable at a time, stop brushing his teeth and try again later.

Step 4: Prepare their gums: To check your dog’s desire to let you touch their gums by rubbing your finger on them. How are you going to do that? Well, it’s quite tricky but not difficult to do, lift the upper lip up and hold it, then rub their teeth. Do the same with their lower teeth. If he doesn’t move or let you touch their teeth then he is willing to brush. You need to apply light pressure and do this over a few times to make them comfortable.

Step 5: Taste the toothpaste: Put some toothpaste on your fingertip and let your dog lick it from your fingertip. This way they got addicted to that taste and texture. If he started liking that taste then you can use that toothpaste. 

Step 6: Apply an empty toothbrush: After your puppy gets used to this tooth and gum rubbing process, start using the toothbrush with paste. The step would be the same, lift their upper lip and brush on the upper teeth and pull their lower lip down to brush their lower teeth. There are various kinds of brushes out there but your brush should be softer and has some angle in it. So you may brush their teeth properly. 

Step 7: Circular motion of brushing: Brush your dog’s teeth in a round/ circular motion, on the top and bottom jaw of the mouth. Slight bleeding may occur while rubbing the brush on their teeth. But heavy bleeding may also be seen, if you may apply some pressure while brushing. Make sure that you don’t brush their teeth aggressively. If you don’t apply much pressure and still bleeding is happening then it may be a sign of gum disease. In this case, you should concern your vet doctor for their dental care.

Step 8: Remove plaques: Brush on a small area at a time, increase it gradually. Set your target time for 2 minutes. If your dog hesitates at first, target on their front incisor and back teeth molar, these are the places where plaque is mostly collected. Slowly get inside the inner part of their mouth. Their tongue is quite coarse, which helps to clean their insides of teeth as well. 

Step 9: Make them comfortable: Make sure to keep their mood light and calm while brushing their teeth. Praise them or talk to them throughout the process. Tell them how nice they are and tell them exactly what you are doing. All these small things make a huge difference while brushing your dogs. 

Step 10: Give them a reward: Brushing the dog’s teeth is quite unnatural to them. To make it a positive experience for them, praise them for their patience. You may give them their favorite treat as a reward. That would make them happy and curious for the next time. These treats are just to train them initially and later you can remove them from the process.