How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Did you know that as many as 80 percent of adult dogs have some form of gum disease? Fido can also suffer from many other painful dental issues, such as broken, cracked, or infected teeth; abscesses; and misalignments. These dental issues can cause or contribute to many other health problems, such as heart disease and liver trouble. Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy is very important! One of the best things you can do is to brush your furry pal’s teeth. Here, a Fox Chapel, PA vet discusses cleaning your canine buddy’s choppers.


Before brushing your dog’s teeth, you’ll need to make a trip to the pet store. Pick up some doggy toothpaste and a pet toothbrush. When picking out toothpaste, opt for a yummy flavor, like beef or chicken. Never use human products on your canine pal. Our toothbrushes aren’t angled correctly for Fido, and our toothpastes are actually toxic to dogs. While you’re there, pick up some doggy treats and perhaps a new toy.


Fido will probably need some time to get used to having his teeth brushed. Start by just rubbing your pup’s teeth and gums with your finger. When you’re done, offer your furry friend treats, praise, and ear scritches to encourage him. The next stage is to add a little doggy toothpaste. (We know, this is a bit gross, but it’s just for training purposes.) Once your four-legged pal has accepted this, you can start using the toothbrush. You don’t have to brush Fido’s entire mouth every day. Just do one quadrant a day, and keep rotating. Remember to reward your pet after every session.

Helpful Hack

Needless to say, not all dogs are going to go for having their teeth cleaned. If your furry buddy isn’t having it, there are other ways to keep his choppers healthy. Get some pet toothpaste and put it on a chew toy, such as a Nylabone, and let Fido have at it. Your canine friend will do the work himself! You can also ask your vet about using dental-formula treats, kibble, and/or chews. These products are specifically made to fight plaque and tartar. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you know or suspect that your pooch has dental issues? Contact River Valley Veterinary Hospital, serving the Fox Chapel area. We are dedicated to keeping our furry patients happy and healthy!

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