Since dogs can’t brush their own teeth, it’s up to us dog parents to brush our furry friend’s teeth. If your dog whimpers, runs away or hides at the sight of pet toothpaste and a toothbrush, check out our 5 tips on how to get your dog to stay calm when brushing:
Create a Calming Environment
In order to train your dog to accept brushing, you’ll need to make it a positive experience. Start by picking a familiar spot where your dog loves to relax and have fun. If your dog loves to cuddle up with you, try having them sit in your lap for brushing time. Or if they’re a little too big to fit on your lap, you can opt for a cozy nook with their favorite toys.
Choose a Tasty Flavor
Make brushing a treat by taking time to find a flavor your dog loves. petsmile professional pet toothpaste comes in London Broil
, Rotisserie Chicken
and Say Cheese
. Before you start brushing, let your dog inspect the toothbrush and toothpaste. You can try squeezing a little toothpaste onto your finger for them to lick, or putting some on a treat to encourage them to give it a try.
Take it Slow
Most dogs are not accustomed to their mouths being touched, so it will take some time to get them used to the sensation. Start by simply touching the outside of their mouth, and ease into touching teeth and gums with just your finger. If your dog resists, take a break and try again later. Keep sessions short, especially as you are just getting started.
Reward Your Dog Every Step of the Way
Give them a treat for sitting still, letting you touch their mouth, or for licking the toothpaste off of your finger. If your dog is a little less food motivated, make sure to give lots of verbal praise as well.
Follow a Routine
Brush your dog’s teeth at the same time every day. Variation in schedule can induce stress in your dog, so it’s important to keep a consistent schedule. You can try leading by example and brushing your dog’s teeth right after you brush your own teeth. Follow it up with a rewarding activity, like play time or a short walk.