Call Us Today

Sign up now

How to Brush Your Pet's Teeth

Information from your veterinarian

How to brush your pet’s teeth


Just like in humans, dental care is an important part of your pet’s overall health.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to keeping those chompers sparkling white at home.

Why Should I Brush My Pet's Teeth?

We all love a pet with a healthy mouth and sweet breath, and brushing your pet's teeth only takes approximately two minutes a day. Your pet will love you for it, and your pet's heart, kidneys, and liver, which are directly influenced by oral health, will benefit.

Two common problems dogs with poor oral hygiene have, are loose and abscessed teeth. You don't want your pet to have one of these, so brushing is very important. Studies show that 98% of dogs with bad breath are suffering from periodontal disease, a result of plaque build up. So, get
pet toothpaste, a toothbrush or finger toothbrush, and follow the steps below to get started.

The Principles Of Brushing Your Dog's and Cat's Teeth

  • Make it fun.
  • Brush as much of the tooth surface as possible.
  • The junction of tooth and gum is the most important area to brush.
  • Focus on upper and outer molars.
  • Keep introductory sessions short - 5 seconds, and work up to 2 minutes each day.

Equipment for Brushing Your Pet's Teeth

  • Pet toothpaste with enzymes.
  • Small toothbrush or finger cot.

10 Steps for Brushing Your Dog's Teeth

  • Introduce your dog to the pet toothpaste either on a treat or let your pet lick the toothpaste off the brush every day for a week.
  • Have your pet sit.
  • Massage or gently stroke the cheeks for several seconds.
  • Start with the upper lip, gently lifting and pulling back so your pet "smiles."
  • For 5 seconds, brush one tooth as you would your own, rhythmically from gum line down toward the tooth.
  • Now, the lower lip—gently lift and pull back to create a "smile."
  • For 5 seconds, gently brush one tooth from the gum line up toward the tooth.
  • Over the next few days gradually increase brushing time to 1 minute on the upper teeth, and 1 minute on the lower teeth.
  • Praise your pet.

10 Steps for Brushing Your Cat's Teeth

  • Ideally start when your pet is still a kitten. With an adult, relax and realize it may take a month to introduce toothpaste and toothbrush.
  • Go slowly with your cat because your success will last a lifetime.
  • Massage or gently stroke your cat's cheeks for several seconds every day.
  • Introduce toothpaste by dabbing it on a treat and giving it to your cat—repeat for several days.
  • Dab pet toothpaste on a small toothbrush and let your cat lick it off—repeat for several days.
  • Dab pet toothpaste on a small toothbrush and put the toothbrush into your cat's mouth for a few seconds. Gradually increase to 15-30 seconds, still without brushing.
  • Dab pet toothpaste on a toothbrush and brush one tooth in a slow rhythm from the gum to the tooth. Gradually increase to brushing several teeth.
  • Retract the lips creating a smile and brush the back molars. Gradually increase brushing time to a total of 1 minute for the upper dental arcade and 1 minute for the lower arcade.
  • If your cat tolerates only a short period of brushing, concentrate on upper, outer molars.
  • A finger cot is an alternative, so don't be concerned if your cat doesn't accept a toothbrush.


How Does Pet Toothpaste Differ From Human Toothpaste?

  • Human toothpaste, while not poisonous, is not meant to be swallowed.
  • Pets should not have toothpastes with fluoride.
  • Human toothpaste foams because it contains sodium lauryl sulphate.

Which Pet Toothpaste Is Best to Use?

  • Pet toothpaste is flavored. Favorite flavors are usually poultry, malt, and seafood.
  • The best toothpastes for pets contain enzymes, such as glucose oxidase and lactoperoxidase, that dissolve plaque on the teeth.
  • The best pet toothpastes do not contain sugar or sugar substitutes. We recommend C.E.T. Toothpaste