Dogs, just like other kinds of pets, typically require all kinds of care and maintenance. Just as with humans this will include their teeth. However, cleaning a dog's teeth isn't the same as cleaning your own teeth...at least, not at first. If you don't take the time to properly clean your dog's teeth, you can easily find yourself having to deal with doggie dental problems after a few years. Not only is this unnecessarily cruel to your pet, but the bills can seriously add up over time.
- Practice makes perfect. Most dogs do not like to have things put into their mouth, and are not rally all that used to having their teeth brushed. This means that you will have to get them used to the idea, and work up to actually brushing. Practice getting your dog used to having your finger placed into their mouth. It can usually take a while, but you can slowly get your dog used to having a finger in their mouth. The first few times you may need to place some kind of yummy treat on your finger to help out. With each session you should move your finger a little further into the mouth so that they become acclimatized to it.
- Switch to gauze. After having your dog has gotten used to you putting your finger in their mouth, it is time to up the ante a bit. Repeat the same process, but this time with some gauze, or something similar, wrapped around your finger. This will allow your dog to get used to something a bit larger, and with a different texture, than a finger being in their mouth.
- Move on to the brush. Once again, when you have gotten your fuzzy friend used to the gauze wrapped finger you can move onto the next step. This would be the toothbrush, cleaning pad, or other teeth cleaning devices that you may have. As before, you should follow the process outlined in step one.
- Apply a little paste. Once you have a couple of sessions where your little fuzzy friend is used to the bristles that come on a toothbrush (or whatever other method you will be using) try it again, this time with some paste. While you can initially start off by dipping the paste laden cleaning device into a tasty liquid, eventually you will need to wean the dog off of it to ensure that there is no difficulty in brushing.
- Start brushing. After you have gotten your dog used to having their teeth brushed, you a ready to implement a regular brushing schedule for them. While you can always brush their teeth every night (like you do with your own) that isn't exactly necessary. You can usually get by with only brushing it once a week.