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Pet Teeth Care

August 07, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

Brushing your pet’s teeth is a great habit to start young…here’s how!

Pet teeth care is an important part of a great grooming routine. First of all, it can alert you to any medical problems by noting any swellings, redness or abscesses or unusually different and bad odors, loose or broken teeth before they become serious medical conditions. Also check his teeth if you notice any eating problems or disruption in his playing and sleeping schedule, which can be warning signs of periodontal disease and consult your vet.  Secondly, it can reward your pet with healthy teeth and gums all throughout his life.

To get your pet’s mouth to open easily, gently place your hand over his muzzle from the top.  Then, slide your finger in between his lips on one side between his back teeth and tilt his head back gently to get his mouth to open. Repeat on the other side.  Once he tastes the beef or tuna, this shouldn’t be too difficult.  If your pet resists or reacts aggressively check it out with the vet and get a lesson from him.

The American Animal Hospital Association recommends brushing your pet’s teeth every day.  Follow this great technique for acclimating your pet to teeth-brushing in 3 easy steps:

  1. Start by dipping your finger in either beef bouillon for a dog or tuna water for a cat and gently rub your finger along your pet’s teeth and gums.  Focus on the gum line beginning at the front of the mouth and work your way to the back teeth and gums.
  2. After your pet tolerates that treatment easily, use the same technique but cover your finger with gauze before you dip it.  This will be slightly more abrasive. Follow the same technique starting at the front and working your way backward, while focusing on the gum line and rubbing with a circular motion to clean out debris.
  3. Finally, introduce the pet toothbrush with pet toothpaste (beef or tuna flavored of course!) You can use a human toothbrush if it’s ultra-soft for sensitive teeth.  Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth and move it in a circular fashion to sweep along the gum line.  Caution:  Never use people toothpaste or baking soda as both will upset your dog’s stomach (he doesn’t know not to swallow it!).
From start to finish, the brushing should take just a minute or two.  Remember to praise and reward your pet for good behavior with lots of treats, play and love!

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