If you’re one of the few pet owners whose cat or dog doesn’t easily sit through a full toothbrushing session without complaint, here’s some help. Some pets will buck, roll, and squirm away the first couple times you try and brush their teeth. But it’s very easy to train your pet to willingly sit through a teeth brushing session. Here’s how you can get started in training your pet to allow you to brush their teeth. Cats and dogs love the taste of Petsmile, and owners soon start incorporating our toothpaste as a treat.
Establish Reward and Release Cues
Before you can start training for any desirable behavior, you must establish reward and release cues that you will use throughout the life of your pet. The reward cue tells your pet, in no uncertain terms, that they performed the right behavior at the correct moment. The release cue, on the other hand, lets your pet know that they are done with being in obedience mode and can relax.
For cats and dogs, you can use a clicker, whistle or word for the reward cue. You will need to pair the reward cue with a treat, praise or both to utilize positive reinforcement to breeze through the training process. To accomplish this, immediately give your pet a treat and praise each time you use the reward cue. The release cue can be a simple phrase or sound, as long as it is different from your other cues. Remember to always use the release command whenever you are done working with your pet.
Train the Sit Stay Command
To easily brush your pets’ teeth, you will need to teach a simple sit stay command. Start with sit by guiding your pet using a treat raised just above the snout. As your pet’s nose follows the treat, their rump will end up on the ground. Once this happens, give the reward cue, and then treat and praise. With your pet in the sit position, teach stay in three-second increments until your pet can remain in one spot for at least one minute at a time. Once your pet can sit and stay, you can move onto the next step.
Familiarize Your Pet with the Oral Care Supplies
All the tools and supplies needed for a great oral care routine can feel overwhelming or scary to pets. Therefore, you should gently introduce these supplies to your pet in slow steps. Start by bringing the items into the same room as your pet, and then slowly move them closer and closer. Treat and praise freely to create a positive connection between the supplies and the rewards. With time, your pet will look forward to seeing the oral care supplies needed for great brushing habits.
Establish a Solid Brushing Schedule
Pets do not need to have their teeth brushed as often as humans, but daily oral care sessions are still a necessity. Plan to brush your pet’s teeth after the last meal of the day to protect them from bacterial growth through the evening hours. By removing the biofilm that builds up on the teeth before bed, you help minimize the growth of bacteria that cause cavities and tooth decay. With the creation of a solid brushing schedule, your pet will learn to accept the sessions as a normal part of the daily routine.
Work Without a Brush at First
With Petsmile you do not need to use a toothbrush to clean your pet's teeth, though it is recommended. Petsmile contains Calprox that actively helps to gently remove plaque from teeth upon contact. The teeth will become cleaner, the gums healthier, and breath fresher. The specialized formula also helps to strengthen the enamel to prevent cavities and other dental health issues.
By selecting a Petsmile, you can skip the brush and move through the oral care process much quicker and easier. Instead, simply use your gauze-covered finger to apply the toothpaste for pets to all tooth surfaces. As your pet gets used to having his or her teeth cleaned, you can switch to a traditional or finger-cover toothbrush to add mechanical plaque removal to the process. You can also just let y our pet's tongue do the work when Petsmile is applied to teeth. Your dog will love it and his tongue will swish it over his teeth, then Calprox in Petsmile will begin to inhibit plaque and clean the teeth.
Break Up Brushing Sessions
If your pet is young or you are still early in the training process, you can break up the brushing sessions to make it easier on you both. Simply focus on completing one quadrant per brushing session to complete all four by bedtime. As your pet acclimates to this process, it will be easier to squeeze all the brushing into a single session. Maintain a calm, but firm, attitude and utilize your positive reinforcement techniques to help your pet adjust to having his or her teeth brushed.
Offer the Most Delicious Treats and Ample Praise
Save the most tempting treats you have on hand as rewards for your pet’s daily toothbrushing sessions. The best treats will help encourage your pet to sit tight and tolerate the toothbrushing routine. Some pets even start to enjoy the gum massage and attention, not to mention all the praise, that comes with the daily oral healthcare routines. Until then, however, you have to bring out the best treats possible to ensure the full compliance of your pet. Always provide enthusiastic praise in a positive voice to help your pet remain comfortable throughout every brushing session. Through the years, you will be able to phase out treats and just provide praise alone, if you wish.
Remember to Partner with a Veterinary Dentist
Although at-home toothbrushing for pets is of vital importance, you still need to partner with a veterinary dentist to protect the health of your pet’s teeth and gums. A veterinary dentist needs to perform regular cleaning sessions to remove plaque below the gum line and in hard to reach areas. This process also allows for a thorough examination of your pet’s teeth and gums to check for developing issues. If any are found, your veterinary dentist can perform restorative services to correct the problem and prevent future issues.
When you take an active approach to care for your pet’s teeth and gums, you can rest assured that you are doing all you can to keep cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay at bay. Your efforts will likely pay off in the long run in the form of healthy teeth and oral tissues through your pet’s golden years. Start your journey toward exceptional dental health for your pet by using Petsmile toothpaste today. The Calprox formula will help thoroughly clean teeth, inhibit plaque, and prevent decay to protect the health of your pet's teeth and gums for years to come.