Tips For Getting Your Older Dog Used To Teeth Brushing

4 September 2018
 Categories: , Blog


If you have an older dog, their breath and teeth need improvement, leading you to the decision to start brushing their teeth. While it is usually better to start dogs out with dental care as puppies to get them used to the process, you can still get your older dog used to having their teeth brushed. To make the process easier, use the tips discussed below.

Select a Flavored Canine Toothpaste

Before you start brushing your dog's teeth, you will need a toothpaste that is specially designed for canines. Since dogs do not spit out toothpaste like a human, the formula needs to be nontoxic.

While making your selection of a dog toothpaste, consider getting one in a flavor you know your dog will love, such as beef or chicken-flavored. If you try to use a non-flavored toothpaste, your dog may decide to keep their mouth shut because they do not want to taste it.

Use Your Finger Before Introducing a Brush

Once you have a toothpaste in a flavor your dog enjoys and are ready to start brushing their teeth, you may wonder about what brush you should use. However, when you first start out with brushing your pet's teeth, especially if they are an older dog, you should avoid using a brush in the beginning.

If your dog is not used to having a foreign object like a brush in their mouth, they will resist and possibly even try to bite the toothbrush. However, if you gently use your finger to massage their gums, they are more likely it than the brush. After a few brushing sessions, they will be used to the motions of brushing with your finger, as well as the gentle pressure you use. Then, you can slowly start introducing the brush.

Start out by brushing the back of their teeth with your finger, then do the front with the brush. Then, each time you brush their teeth, start using the brush more. Just make sure you continue using the same light pressure with the brush as you do with your finger. If you push down too hard, you may make their gums bleed and cause discomfort to your dog. If this were to happen, they may never let you near their mouth again with the brush or your finger.

Using the above tips can help get your dog acclimated to having their teeth brushed. However, if you are still having problems, speak with your dog's veterinarian for further information about dog teeth cleaning, as well as have them demonstrate techniques for doing so.