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Brushing Fido’s Teeth

March 1, 2019

Did you know that brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the best ways to keep his mouth healthy? Dental care is just as important for pets as it is for people. Man’s Best Friend can develop some very serious dental issues, such as gum disease, abscesses, and cracked or broken teeth. However, Fido can’t exactly brush his own choppers, so it’s up to you to take care of them. Read on as a Salem, VA vet discusses brushing your canine companion’s teeth.


A trip to the pet store is definitely in order. You’ll need to get Fido some doggy toothpaste. Choose a yummy flavor, like beef, to make the process more enjoyable for your four-legged pal. You’ll also need to pick up a pet toothbrush. Never use human products on your canine friend. Our toothbrushes aren’t angled right for dogs’ teeth. Plus, many human toothpastes contain things which aren’t safe for dogs.


You’ll need to get your canine buddy used to the idea and process of having his teeth brushed. At first, just gently massage your pup’s teeth and gums with your finger. You can wrap your finger in gauze if you like. Offer treats and praise, so Fido knows he’s being pampered. This will also help him form a positive association with the process. The next step is to add a little doggy toothpaste. Once your furry pal has accepted that, you can start using a pet toothbrush.


You don’t have to do your furry buddy’s whole mouth every day. Just do one quadrant at a time, and keep rotating. Once your four-legged friend is used to the process, this will only take a few minutes. Give your pooch treats and praise after you brush his teeth to keep that tail wagging.

Other Options

If your canine pal won’t let you brush his teeth, there are still ways you can keep his mouth healthy. Ask your vet for advice on other options. Oral rinses, for example, can be quite helpful. Dental-formula treats, kibble, and chews can also help, as these are made to fight plaque and tartar. You can also put some pet toothpaste on a chew toy, and let Fido have at it. Every little bit helps! For more methods and tips on keeping your dog’s teeth healthy and preventing dental issues, explore our article on ‘Ways To Keep Fido’s Teeth Healthy’

Our Advice on Brushing Fido’s Teeth in 2024

Why is it important to brush your dog’s teeth?

Brushing your dog’s teeth is vital because it prevents dental issues like gum disease, abscesses, and tooth damage. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from serious dental problems if their oral hygiene is neglected. Regular brushing removes plaque and tartar, reducing the risk of these conditions. Since dogs can’t brush their teeth themselves, it’s the owner’s responsibility to ensure their mouth stays healthy. For personalized guidance and dental care options, consider visiting a local veterinary clinic, such as one in Roanoke, VA, to keep your canine companion’s teeth in top shape.

What supplies do you need to brush your dog’s teeth?

To brush your dog’s teeth, you’ll need dog-specific toothpaste, often flavored like beef or chicken, to make the experience more enjoyable for your pet. Human toothpaste is not safe for dogs. A pet toothbrush or finger brush designed for dogs is also essential, as human brushes aren’t angled correctly for a dog’s mouth. Starting with these supplies ensures a safe and effective cleaning routine.

How do you get your dog used to having his teeth brushed?

Getting your dog accustomed to teeth brushing starts with gentle gum and teeth massage using a finger, potentially wrapped in gauze, to introduce the sensation. Following this, integrating dog-specific toothpaste helps them adapt to the taste and texture. Gradually incorporate a pet toothbrush for a complete brushing experience. Throughout the process, reward your dog with treats and praise to create positive associations. Consistency and patience are key. For hands-on advice or if challenges arise, consider visiting our veterinary clinic for professional guidance tailored to your dog’s needs.

How often should you brush your dog’s teeth?

For optimal dental health, aim to brush your dog’s teeth several times a week, ideally daily if possible. This routine helps prevent plaque buildup, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Consistent brushing not only keeps your dog’s mouth healthy but also acclimates them to the process, making it more accessible over time. If you need more clarification about techniques or need specific advice tailored to your pet, our veterinary clinic serving Salem, VA, is here to assist. Regular check-ups can also ensure your dog’s oral hygiene is on the right track.

How to handle a dog who is very resistant to having their teeth brushed?

For dogs resistant to teeth brushing, start by slowly acclimating them to the process. Focus on making them comfortable with their mouth being touched by using gentle strokes on their cheeks and lips before attempting to brush. Incorporating flavorful dog-specific toothpaste can make the experience more appealing. If direct brushing remains challenging, consider dental chews, toys coated with toothpaste, or oral rinses as alternatives. For persistent difficulties, consult a veterinarian for tailored strategies and possibly professional cleaning. Our clinic, serving areas including Roanoke, VA, offers consultations for such behavioral and dental concerns.

Ensuring your dog’s oral health is just one component of their overall well-being. Discover how our ‘Wellness & Vaccinations’ services can support your furry friend’s health throughout all stages of their life. Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Salem, VA vet, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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