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9 February 2021
The Importance of Brushing
Where prevention is concerned, brushing your pet’s teeth regularly really is the gold standard. Dental diets are a great way to help maintain healthy teeth however, dogs and cats often only chew with their molars making it hard for dental kibbles to target the teeth located at the front of their mouths. Brushing will help ensure all teeth are cleaned.
How Often Should I Brush My Pet’s Teeth?
Ideally, brushing your pet’s teeth should be done once a day. Cats and dogs love routine, so if you can establish a routine to brush your pet’s teeth at the same time every day, they may be more receptive.
It is best to get your pet used to the toothbrush and toothpaste by introducing it slowly. Start by showing your cat or dog the toothbrush and touching it to their mouth. Don’t forget to reward them with treats after each step!
Tips on How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth
Place a small amount of toothpaste on your finger or the toothbrush and let them lick it off. It is important to always use toothpaste specifically designed for pets and not for humans. Human toothpaste can be toxic and is never recommended for companion animals. We recommend using a cat or dog toothpaste containing an enzyme to help fight plaque-causing bacteria. There are a variety of toothbrushes available on the market. Use a toothbrush that is easiest and most convenient for you to manipulate.
Gently brush your cat or dog’s teeth by moving the toothbrush in circular motions on the teeth, paying special attention to the gum line. The abrasive rubbing action is what will remove plaque and help prevent periodontal diseases such as gingivitis.
You may give your cat or dog breaks, as not to overwhelm them, rewarding them for their patience with positive reinforcement including kind words and treats.
It may take time for your cat or dog to adjust to brushing, but don’t give up! Two minutes of brushing per day is much more agreeable for your pet than suffering through periodontal disease or anesthetized teeth cleanings at the vet.
Unlike human toothpaste which contains fluoride and detergents, toothpaste intended for animals does not need to be rinsed away, so once you’re finished brushing, you’re all done!