Because our pets start to lose their puppy and kitten teeth around 4 months of age, it’s important to start them with dental care program early. Tooth brushing every day is the best thing you can do to take care of your pet’s teeth. Teaching young puppies and kittens to allow their teeth to be brushed is simple. You can also use these tips teach an older pet to allow you to brush their teeth with some patience and practice.
Try and set aside a time each day to work with your pet. Start first by getting them comfortable with you touching the outside of their mouth. Talk to them, give them positive praise when they allow you to touch their mouth area. Have a favorite treat (like Minties) on hand to reward them with at the end of each session.
Once they are comfortable with you handling the outside of their mouth, start lifting their lips gently and touching the teeth in the front and along the sides with your finger. Again, use positive praise and reward their good behavior. When they become comfortable with several sessions of this, you can start offering them pet safe toothpaste on your finger and lift the lip and gently rub it over the teeth and gums. You can even wrap your index finger in gauze and apply toothpaste to this and start rubbing it on the teeth and gums. Again, don’t be discouraged if they resist at first. Be sure to encourage them and reward them when they behave well. Slowly you can work up to using a finger brush or toothbrush for your pet to brush the teeth daily.
When brushing your pet’s teeth, focus on the outside of the teeth. You don’t need to open the mouth to brush the teeth as their tongue helps to clean the inner surfaces. Focus on the outer surfaces along the sides and then in the front. Again, always remember to offer your pet praise, give them a rewarding and healthy dental treat, and give them lots of love to help make tooth brushing a positive event for them each day!