Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

Brushing a cat's teeth

Brushing your pet’s teeth daily takes only seconds and can save you and your pet from needless misery.

Plaque (tartar) buildup can occur very quickly and usually begins near or at the gum-line.

It’s always best to accustom your pet to your touch all over his/her body including the mouth and teeth. But it’s never too late to start.

Each step in getting your pet used to having his/her teeth brushed may take several days. While it may seem like slow going, taking your time will result in little resistance when the actual brushing begins.

For both cats and dogs you’ll need toothbrushes and toothpaste made specifically for each one. Toothbrushes should have soft bristles. Never use human toothpaste as it can cause your pet digestive upsets.

The first step is getting your pet used to the toothpaste. Pet toothpastes are made with their tastes in mind. Apply a little of the the toothpaste to your finger, then let your pet lick it off.

Next rub your finger with the toothpaste on it over your pet’s teeth.

Then let your pet smell the toothbrush and place it close to the mouth. Generally pets will try to playfully bite the brush.

Then it’s time to gently rub the toothbrush over the pet’s teeth. Hold the brush at an angle to reach the gum-line.

After each step offer your pet a favorite treat. Emphasis on each step taking several days.

When you feel your pet is ready, gently lift the lip up on one side and brush back and forth at an angle. Then do the same on the other side. Include those long canines and the front teeth.

Don’t rush your pet into the final step – take as much time as you both need. Always offer treats when you’ve accomplished a step.

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