Regularly brushing your dog's teeth is the most important thing you can do to ensure their oral health. Here are 10 useful steps to make it easier to accomplish this critical task:

  • Choose a calm time and place: It should be just you and your dog, preferably in a room with good lighting.
  • Use a canine toothbrush and toothpaste: Canine toothbrushes have long curved handles to help reach back teeth. Fingertip brushes are also good, offering a lot of control.  Canine toothpaste is made in chicken or beef flavors, and doesn't contain fluoride.
  • Let your dog taste the toothpaste: After putting the flavored canine toothpaste on the toothbrush, let your dog taste it.  You want your dog to be happy to see the toothbrush!
  • Start with the front teeth: Lift your dog's gums, and brush the top front teeth.
  • Move toward the back teeth: Gently lift your dog's gums, and brush the top rear teeth, starting with the outsides and top.  Resist the urge to force things; take it slow and gentle.
  • Brush the bottom front teeth: you may need to apply a little more toothpaste before starting on the bottom teeth; your dog has likely licked everything off the toothbrush.
  • Finish up by brushing the bottom back teeth: Again, start with the top and sides. It may take you some practice before you're able to brush the inner side of your dog's teeth.
  • Praise and treats: After your done, give them lots of love and some health treats.  Again, you want your dog to be happy about teeth-brushing, not run the other way!