Puppy grooming is important for your pup’s health. But did you know that grooming includes brushing your dog’s teeth? To avoid stinky dog breath and dental problems, you need a regular brushing regimen. So how can you train your dog for teeth brushing?
Over the first few weeks of owning your puppy, be sure to get him accustomed to mouth handling. Get them used to having something inserted into their mouth by flavoring your finger with low-sodium chicken broth, or try clicker training to communicate to your puppy what you want him to do. Reward the puppy for not reacting when you handle his mouth, and if he does react, don’t punish or correct, just try going slower.
Toothbrush and toothpaste
There are a variety of toothbrush and toothpaste options to try to see what works best for your dog. Start with offering toothpaste as a treat. There are even meat-flavored options to help incentivize your pup. Once the dog accepts the toothpaste, try propping his mouth open with a favorite toy and wrap your hand around his muzzle to hold it in place. Practice this and reward your pup with toothpaste treats before introducing the toothbrush. Use a special pet toothbrush or a soft child’s toothbrush.
Keep up the routine
Brushing after every meal is recommended, but aim for at least 2-3 times per week. Give your puppy lots of praise and affection, and soon this will become a simple and easy routine!
A note on dental treats
Some pet owners, even after reading tips like these, are still not keen to brush their dogs’ teeth. As such, they turn to dental treats instead.
Dental treats can help your dog’s teeth, but don’t expect them to be a miracle worker. These treats will not remove plaque as effectively as a good scrubbing. However, if you choose to give your dog dental treats, make sure that they are certified by the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council). Additionally, ensure that these treats will take at least 10 minutes for your dog to get through. If your dog is just able to swallow them whole, then the treats won’t help their teeth.
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