Be ready for a potential challenge. Before you jump into it you need to make sure your pet will tolerate brushing. You can begin the process by simply lifting their lip and rewarding with praise. If this is tolerated, you can use a piece of gauze over your finger and gently rub the teeth in a circular motion 60 seconds every day. It helps to dip the gauze into something flavourful first (like tuna juice).

Once this is well tolerated, you can progress to using tooth brushes. You are welcome to use a soft child’s tooth brush or a specialized animal tooth brush or even keep using the gauze. It is very important that you use animal specific tooth paste, since animals cannot have fluoride. Try to focus on the outside of the teeth because the surface facing the cheek is prone to plaque and tartar build up. Therefore opening the mouth and brushing, isn’t as important as lifting the gum and brushing. Don’t expect to clean every tooth in one session, just do what you can and what your animal will tolerate. Make sure you reward your pet to keep them interested and be patient. Do not proceed if the process becomes stressful,unpleasant or potentially dangerous.

Remember it is always easier to start this process with clean teeth. If your animal has moderate to heavy dental build up, it is recommended they have their teeth scaled and polished by your veterinarian first so you are not just brushing heavy tartar that will never come off with a tooth brush.

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