Vets agree that dogs should have their teeth brushed weekly if not daily to cut down on plaque and keep breath smelling fresh! Preventive dental care has been proven to prolong the life of your pet! Instead of thinking of this important activity as a nuisance, look at teeth brushing as an opportunity for training. There needs to be a balance of finding doggie dental products that are enjoyable for your dog, and training your dog to tolerate and cooperate with you as you brush their teeth. First decide what tools to use. I have written a review of the best doggie dental products on my product review blog.

Introduce the toothpaste (or other product) when your dog is calm (for instance, after a walk). Take your time. Place the veterinarian approved toothpaste on the brush and offer it to your dog. Allow your dog to smell and even lick the toothpaste. Then lift up your dog’s lip and start rubbing along the molars first. If your dog stays quiet reward her with vocal praise or physical affection. Then do the molars on the other side of your dog’s mouth. Finally move to the teeth at the front. After coating all the teeth with toothpaste and brushing them, give your dog a calming massage. Even if she didn’t enjoy the process, she will remember how great the massage was, making it a positive experience!

This cycle of patience, training, and massage can be used to help your dog with other training activities as well! Lead your dog!