What is a good way to get my dog to let me brush his teeth?

asked 2015-12-02 18:05:47 -0500

He's so little and squirmy, and even though the doggie toothpaste is chicken flavored, he hates it.

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answered 2015-12-02 23:07:36 -0500

Yes, it can be difficult to get a dog to let you brush his teeth! One method I have heard of is to let the dog chew on the toothbrush with toothpaste on it. Maybe a different flavor will be more to his liking. You can also give him yummy treats every few seconds and praise him when he chews on the brush.

Another thing to try is start with vanilla yogurt (if he enjoys it) and let him lick it off your finger. Progress to giving a quick swipe over the outside of his teeth with yogurt on your finger. Next phase is to switch to vanilla-flavored doggie toothpaste and rub on his teeth. Praise him and give treats when he cooperates.

Some dogs are more accepting of finger brushes (the things that slip over your finger and have bristles on the tip). There are also products like Greenies, special rawhide chips, and tartar control foods.

Lastly, if your dog already has tartar on his teeth, your best bet is to have your vet do a dental cleaning. Then you have a clean slate for at-home tartar prevention.

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answered 2017-02-23 16:17:02 -0500

I use a high-value treat when I brush my dogs teeth. As a puppy, I would let him sniff the toothbrush, then treat him with cheese. Then, I moved on to letting him lick the toothpaste off the brush, then treating him with cheese. I eventually moved to brushing his teeth and treating him with cheese. It's the only time he gets cheese. It took a lot of patience at the beginning to get him comfortable with it.

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answered 2017-02-23 16:11:20 -0500

If possible, it is great to begin this task during puppy training so your dog will become accustomed! And yes, using food in the process (as long as your dog is not over-zealous about food) is great to use during brushing).

Marie S., M.S.Ed

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