easiest way to clean your dog's teeth

12 Steps To Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

The often most overlooked area of at-home dog grooming is actually the teeth. Most of the time dog owners remember to brush the coat until it is shiny and clip the nails so they don’t make noise when walking on the hardwood floor, but since they are usually not on display, not everyone remembers to clean their dog’s teeth.

As with humans, brushing your dog’s teeth and overall canine dental hygiene is super important as it not only cleans the plaque that usually leads to bad breath away, but it also prevents more serious issues from arising such as tooth decay or even gum disease. So, by following these 12 simple steps every day, get ready to be absolutely blinded by your dog’s amazing teeth!

12 steps to clean your dog’s teeth

  1. Pick a specific time in the day to clean the dog’s teeth. It should be a peaceful time between you and your pet, without the liveliness of a room filled with other pets or even kids, as to not distract the dog.
  2. Acquire a special dog toothbrush. While normal human toothbrushes can do the job, it is way easier and usually better to use a toothbrush especially made for dog teeth. Dog toothbrushes have a longer, curved handle that makes it way easier to reach their back teeth.Additionally, only use toothpaste specifically designed for canines, as the human toothpaste may contain ingredients that are toxic and dangerous to dogs. You can easily buy both a dog toothbrush and toothpaste at your local pet store or even better, online!
  3. Allocate a good spot for teeth brushing. When brushing your dog’s teeth, you need to have good lighting so you can see what you are doing, and make sure your pet is not experiencing discomfort.
  4. Make your dog familiar with having his mouth, more specifically his teeth touched. To do this, start by lifting the top lip up and holding it while you gently touch the teeth, then pull the bottom lip down and doing the same to the bottom row of teeth.
  5. Then touch the toothbrush to the teeth. Familiarize your dog with the feel of the bristles, touch the front, side and the back teeth both on the top and the bottom. Then praise and reward your dog for tolerating this step.
  6. Familiarize your dog with the toothpaste, by showing your dog the tube and then letting it lick it off of your finger.
  7. Add the dog toothpaste to the toothbrush.
  8. Then you start brushing the top row of teeth first. Start by holding the upper lip up, brush the front teeth, and praise your dog for tolerating this step.
  9. Proceed further to the side and to the back teeth on the top row.
  10. Continue brushing the bottom row of teeth next. Begin by holding down the bottom lip and brushing the bottom teeth in the same manner as the top row, starting with the front then moving to the side and back teeth.
  11. Move from the front to the side and back of the bottom row, and if your dog has successfully tolerated the toothbrush by now, you can press on and brush both the inside and outside of the teeth. However, the inside of the teeth may be harder to brush, so if the dog shows signs of discomfort, stop and continue to slowly work on implementing this step in the next sessions of tooth brushing goodness.
  12. Finish by praising and rewarding your dog. It is pretty unnatural for dogs to get their teeth brushed; I mean you don’t see many dogs outside with toothbrushes ready to go right? Now, to make this a positive experience for your dog, frequently give praise to it, you can also give your dog a treat at the completion of each step. However, this is pretty counterintuitive, since you are giving them food when you are trying to brush their teeth clean of it. But the goal is to teach them the skill and then you can proceed to work on removing food from the steps.


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