How to brush your dog's teeth - an Embraced pet parent shows how she does it

Do you want to brush your dog's teeth but are afraid it's too hard or too much work? If yes, I have some inspiration for you - it's not nearly as hard as it looks or sounds.

I am so excited for this post. Jeani Coleman, an Embrace policyholder, happened to mention to me last month that she cleans all her dogs' teeth (4 dogs at present) and I asked her if she would take some video of her brushing her teeth and maybe write up something to go with it. Jeani does not have veterinary training but she has been brushing her dogs' teeth for years and knows a thing or two about what works and sent a great write up and a wonderful video to go along with it.

As always, check with your veterinarian on technique and materials to use to brush your dog's teeth but I hope you can see that it's much easier than it sounds to keep them nice and healthy.

From Jeani... (everything Jeani talks about here is illustrated in the most excellent video she made that I've posted at the bottom)

I’ve got 4 dogs of 4 different ages and sizes and I brush their teeth daily.  It only takes seconds – in fact, I can get all of their teeth brushed in the same time it takes me to brush my teeth.

The first dog I will talk about is my 11 year old toy poodle Molly.  I’ve been brushing Molly’s teeth all her life and her teeth are in excellent condition.   I prefer to use the good ole doggy toothbrush which you can pick up anywhere.  It has two sizes to use. Of course I use the small size for my 4 small dogs.   It comes in a package with C.E.T. toothpaste which I get from my vet. It’s chicken flavored and the dogs love it.

You don’t have to brush all their teeth – only the top rack and only the outside.  The insides stay clean from the dogs’ tongue and saliva as well as the bottom rack – I can’t tell you why – you would have to ask your vet.  I put the toothpaste on the brush and I pull her cheek back to expose her back molars.  These are the critical ones because they get the most tartar deposits. You just take the brush and stroke down a couple of times and move down toward the front.  Then I got to the other side and do the same.  Sometimes it’s hard to get the toothbrush back there but you get the hang of it with practice.  Then I do the fronts and we’re through.  And it doesn’t even take half a minute.

The next dog is Gracie, my tiny toy poodle who is 3 years old.  I use the same brush for her. I just rinse it and apply the paste.  I let her lick it a little then I use my finger to pull her cheek out because she is so small.  I repeat the same procedure as with Molly.

Alfie  is our 7 mo. Old Pomchi (Pomeranian and Chihuahua mix) – he’s actually our grand-dog and he will be living with his parents as soon as they move into their new house which will be soon.  Alfie is still learning to accept teeth brushing.  He loves the paste so I let him lick it then I put some on the brush and let him lick it off the brush while I slip the brush into his mouth a little.  Then I grab his muzzle and wedge the brush into the sides of his cheeks and do a little brushing. 

The final dog is Sheldon, our new toy poodle.  I just got him from the breeder last week. He is a year old and has never had his teeth brushed.  His teeth aren’t as white as my other dogs since he hasn’t had regular teeth brushing.  Sheldon had his teeth professionally cleaned in October, so it just shows how quickly dogs’ teeth can get dirty.  I first let him smell and lick the toothpaste.  Then I put a little bit on the brush and let him lick it.  I introduced the brush to his tongue so he could feel it.  Then I was able to place it on his back teeth on both sides just a little.  It will take time for him to get used to it, but he is already accepting it. 

I can’t tell you how important it is to brush your dog’s teeth.  Dogs get tooth decay the same as humans do and it can be very painful.  Sometimes their teeth can hurt so much that it’s difficult for them to eat and especially when it goes into gum disease.   The bacteria and infection gets into their system and can cause all kinds of health problems even to death.   Dogs can also get abscesses which can be extremely painful and result in tooth extraction.  I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your dog’s teeth cleaned.

I hope I’ve helped you.  If you have any questions, be sure to ask your vet.


Do you brush your dog or cat's teeth? Do you find it as easy as Jeani?

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