How do I get my dog to cooperate when brushing her teeth?

jimdavis
jimdavis

Does anyone have any advice on brushing dogs’ teeth? I never got Millie used to it as a puppy and now that she’s an adult she really doesn’t like it when I try to brush her teeth. But I really want to find a way to do it properly as I’d like to avoid having to get her teeth cleaned at the vets. Any advice would be extremely welcome!! Thanks!

4 Answers

Best answer

suziehill
suziehill

It’s not a piece of cake, even when you’ve gotten your dog used to it as a puppy, trust me! What I find works best though is making sure it’s a positive experience for your dog. Just use a happy, excited voice, make sure you sit in front of them or next to them in a way that they can easily move away from you if they want to, and let them sniff or even taste the (dog) toothpaste before you start. If you make it seem like it’s a fun activity, your dog will be more relaxed and willing to let you brush their teeth. Good luck!

pauljohnson
pauljohnson

I reaaalllyyy struggled with my dog as well because I hadn’t gotten him used to it when he was a puppy either. What I started doing was grabbing a long treat (like a dentastix), and using it to hold his mouth open. Basically I’d let him bite into it, and then I would gently pull back so that it lifted his lips a little. And he was so busy holding onto the treat that then he didn’t mind when I’d get in there with a toothbrush. I don’t know whether that’s clear, but it worked for me!

julietmurphy
julietmurphy

Have you tried teaching your dog the “leave it” command? It can be really useful for bite inhibition. You can start training with treats and then move on to objects and maybe someday it’ll be useful if your dog ever tries to bite someone?

jameswilson
jameswilson

You just need to take it slow and use positive reinforcement. Introduce the toothbrush (let him see it, sniff it), then reward. Do this several times until she associates the toothbrush with something good. You can use the same technique when you start putting the toothbrush in her mouth as well. Sometimes it can take several months before a dog is even remotely comfortable with the process, so just hang in there and be consistent.

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