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Toothbrush Training 101


Training your pet to get its teeth brushed seems like a daunting task but you would be surprised at how many pets learn to love it. Brushing everyday is the best way to keep your pet’s mouth as healthy as possible since the bacteria on the tooth (called plaque) starts to harden into tartar within 24 hours. Follow these simple steps to train your pet to love a tooth brush:

First, you must obtain a toothpaste and toothbrush made specifically for pets. Human toothpaste can contain ingredients which, if swallowed, can be harmful to pets. Also, a toothbrush made for pets is usually smaller with a more compact bristle head and soft bristles which are better at reaching the specific crevices of your pet’s teeth. Once you have the products, start by squirting a little toothpaste on your finger and letting your dog lick it off (this is where having a very tasty toothpaste is crucial). The key to this entire process is not to force it. Let your pet come to you. You want them to think the toothpaste is a treat. After a couple of days of this, once your pet is hooked on the toothbrush taste, start to stick your finger full of tooth paste in your pet’s mouth when they go to lick it. This may take some getting used to so it may take a couple of weeks before they’re comfortable with this. Try to start rubbing your finger with the toothpaste on it on their teeth. Again, never force your pet to do this. When they’ve had enough- stop and go on with the day. Patience is key. Eventually, you can start putting the toothpaste on the toothbrush and letting them lick it off the toothbrush and then putting the toothbrush in their mouth and slowly brushing. Ultimately your pet should get used to this process and look at teeth brushing as a treat.

Now, understandably some pets simply will not let you brush their teeth. In these cases, there are other options. There are additives that you can add to their water and medicated rinses that you can squirt on their teeth that helps to break down plaque. There’s also medicated chews (like the C.E.T. Enzymatic Hextra Chew Rawhides) that not only help to manually remove plaque and tartar but also have enzymes in them that, when chewed for at least 3 minutes, is clinically proven to break down plaque and tartar. While these other options are good when used daily, brushing the teeth manually is the best option.

If you ever have any questions about how to maintain your pet’s mouth, please do not hesitate to contact us! As always, we are always happy to help!

Contact Us

South Baton Rouge Animal Hospital


10090 Bluebonnet Blvd., Suite B Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Clinic Hours

Monday-Friday 7am-6 pm
Saturday 7 am-noon