If you’re like most pet owners (myself included), you’ve probably realized you could do a better job of keeping your pet’s teeth healthy and clean. While good habits take a while to become routine, a little diligence can go a long way towards preventing long-term health problems and expensive trips to the vet.
Once your pet’s teeth have been professionally cleaned, try to establish a routine that will help them to stay that way. Since your pet’s gums may be slightly sore after a professional cleaning, we always recommend waiting a week before attempting to brush his teeth at home. In the meantime, start using a water additive to keep plaque and tartar from accumulating. When it’s time to start brushing, be sure to select a toothpaste that is specially formulated for pets. Human grade toothpastes are not meant to be ingested, and pets are not able to spit it out like we do. Choose a toothpaste with an enzymatic cleansing agent and most importantly, make sure your pet likes the taste! Lift the lip at each quadrant and gently brush the teeth and gumline. Since the enzymatic cleansers actually digest bacteria, it is not necessary to vigorously scrub as we do when we brush our own teeth. Be sure to give your pet lots of praise so he associates brushing with making you happy. When we brush our own dogs’ teeth, we always end the exercise by letting them lick the toothbrush clean. It freshens their breath and makes them feel like they’re getting a tasty treat!
Since it takes several weeks for a routine to become a habit, aim for a brushing session every day. While three times a week is likely to get you the results you want, striving for a daily cleaning allows for normal lapses in said routine. Life is hectic. Go easy on yourself
Click here to watch a video of Grendel getting her teeth brushed!