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Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

February 1 2022

It’s Pet Dental Health Month! Dental disease is very prevalent in our canine companions. Fido is susceptible to a variety of dental issues, including gum disease, misalignments, and cracked or broken teeth. One of the best things you can do for Fido is to brush his teeth. While that probably sounds like something that’s easier said than done, it may not be as hard as you think. Once you and your pooch are used to the process, it should only take a few minutes a week. A Urbana, IL vet offers some advice on this below.


Only use products made specifically for dogs. Human toothpastes may contain ingredients that aren’t safe for Fido, and our toothbrushes aren’t angled the right way for their mouths. Your canine pal will probably be more agreeable if you pick a flavored toothpaste, perhaps one that tastes like beef or chicken. Yummy!


Fido will of course need his own toothbrush. There are a variety of styles available, including ones you put on your fingers. You may want to try a few different ones, to see if you and/or your furry pal have a preference.

Getting Started

Don’t just stick the toothbrush into Fido’s mouth. You need to get him on board with the idea first! Start by gently rubbing your pup’s teeth and gums. Do this as you are petting him, so he realizes he’s being pampered, not punished.

Sweetening The Deal

Be sure to incorporate lots of praise and treats. It may sound counterproductive to feed your canine buddy just after you’ve brushed his teeth, but it’s important that Fido form a positive association with the process.


You don’t necessarily have to brush your furry friend’s entire mouth every day. Just do one section at a time, and keep rotating.


As you brush your dog’s teeth, look for signs of dental issues. These include things like bad breath, swelling, tartar buildup, and bleeding gums. Call your vet if you notice anything unusual.

Starting Out

If Fido is still a puppy, you definitely have the upper paw. It’s much easier to train a young dog to accept dental care as part of his normal routine than it is to try and get a wary older dog on board with the process.

As your Urbana, IL veterinary clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Contact us anytime!

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