The easiest way to teach a dog to enjoy having their teeth brushed is to start training as a puppy! That being said, old dogs can learn new tricks too! The goal is to start off slow, let them explore the toothbrush and let them simply lick the toothpaste off.
Eventually, once your dog is comfortable with this, gently massage the gums/teeth with the toothbrush, no vigorous brushing yet! As they get more comfortable with the idea of this, you may start to introduce real brushing.
Get a Yummy Toothpaste
Never use human toothpaste. It has ingredients that are bad/toxic for dogs, and they are going to swallow all of it. For our canine friends, the toothpaste is all about the flavour! As much as we would appreciate minty fresh breath, our pets would likely prefer a tasty chicken or beef. When it comes to brushing for our pets, it’s more about the technique than the ingredients in the toothpaste. The toothpaste is essentially just the tasty treat that goes along with it.
Make it Fun
Toothbrushes should never be scary! I give my dogs a dental chew after I brush their teeth. They have now learned that after they get their teeth brushed (something they don’t particularly love), they get a tasty chew (which they LOVE). They come running to me when they see me pick up their toothbrushes!
Practice Makes Perfect
To improve your dog’s oral health, their teeth should be brushed daily. Also, generally speaking, the more you brush, the less your dog will mind it!
Written by Aurora Animal Clinic