The ideal is to begin brushing at the imprinting stage , which is when the puppy is more susceptible to new experiences. Adopting this habit after adulthood is much more complicated, but not impossible.
Step 1 - Choose the right time
Brush your dog's teeth when it is calm and relaxed. Your goal: create a routine. Working brushing daily is ideal. But if the mouth is healthy, three times a week already make a difference. Without brushing, there is the growth of plaques, leaving the dog with risk of bad breath, gum disease and falling teeth. It can also cause painful infections. Serious infections can spread causing life-threatening effects.
Step 2 - Gather Your Tools
You should use a dog toothbrush. The bristles are softer and especially angled. Finger brushes may work well for dogs under 13 kg. For larger dogs, larger rods can give better reach. Use only toothpaste for puppies. It comes in pleasing flavors for the dog, such as chicken or beef. Never use your toothpaste. It contains ingredients that can hurt your dog's stomach.
Step 3 - Assume the position
Try to stay in a place that will make your dog comfortable. Do not stand above your dog or assume a threatening attitude. Instead, try kneeling or sitting in front of or beside it. Assess your dog's anxiety level. If he looks annoyed, stop and try again later. You may need to master each of the following steps over time.
Step 4 - Prepare the gums
Test the availability of your dog to have the mouth manipulated by passing the finger of the gums and upper teeth. This will help you get used to having something against your teeth. Use light pressure. You may need to accustom him with this step for some sessions before going ahead.
Step 5 - Test the toothpaste
Put some paste on the tip of your finger. Let the dog lick the paste of your finger so that it gets used to the texture and taste. If after a few days he refuses to lick the paste, try a different flavor. With luck, you will find one that feels like dainty.
Step 6 - Try the Toothbrush
When the dog gets used to you by opening and touching your mouth, start using the brush and paste together. Raise your upper lip. As you approach the teeth with the brush, position the bristles so they reach the gum line. Positioning at a 45-degree angle of the teeth will help the bristles to massage the gum line and clean the plaques.
Step 7 - Make circular motions
Brush in small circles, going to the top and bottom ends on each side. As you pass the bristles through the gum line, some small bleeding may occur. Slight occasional bleeding is fine. But heavy, continuous bleeding may indicate that you are brushing very aggressively or may be a sign of gum problems. Ask for directions to your verterinary.
Step 8 - Focus on the plate
Brush just a few teeth at a time, increasing the number each day. Take two minutes in total. If the dog resists in the beginning, try to get through the outer teeth and behind the teeth, which is where the plaque tends to accumulate. If you can get to the bottom teeth, fine. But if you can not reach them, do not push them too hard. His thick tongue helps to clear that area.
Step 9 - Reassure the dog
Keep your mood light while brushing your dog's teeth. Talk to him during the daily brushing, telling him exactly what he is doing. Reaffirm that he is a good dog caressing his cheeks or patting his head.
Step 10 - Reward
When you are finished brushing your dog's teeth, offer a reward with your favorite treat or extra attention. Always stop while everyone is still having fun. Remember also that dental care does not end with brushing. Certain masticators and treats also help fight plaque. And do not forget to schedule professional dental cleanings regularly. Ask the veterinarian what the best frequency is for your dog.
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