Home Pet Dental Care

Prevention is the best medicine. Dental care does not end after a cleaning with your pets veterinarian, it is important to continue oral care at home until your pets next annual cleaning. Brushing your pet’s teeth is important, but it is not a substitute for regular dental cleanings.

Brushing your pet's teeth

What kind of toothbrush do I need?
You do not need a special toothbrush designed for pets. Any brush with soft bristles will suffice as hard bristles may cause trauma to their soft gums. You want to change the toothbrush as often as you do your own. There are options for a special designed finger brush with bristles if your pet does not tolerate a toothbrush.
What toothpaste should I use?
Do not use human toothpaste! Human tooth pastes can contain ingredients that are toxic to pets, such as fluoride. The idea of toothpaste for pets is to find a flavor your pet likes. The flavor may help encourage them to accept the brushing.
There are a lot of teeth in my pet’s mouth, where do I start?
Most pets do not tolerate the inner surfaces of their teeth being brushed. Also, these areas tend to have less plaque as the tongue helps keep the surface clean. The primary area to focus on are the outside surfaces of the cheek (premolars and molars), canine teeth and incisors.
My dog has never had his teeth brushed before, how I do start?
The acceptance of toothbrushing is sometimes a gradual process. It may take several months of small work for your pet to accept a full toothbrushing. When starting, you will only have a few seconds at a time and it is best to focus on the primary areas described above. It may be a good idea to start with some toothpaste only for a couple times as this will introduce the flavor of the toothpaste. Then you can slowly graduate to using your finger and eventually a toothbrush. See the video on this page for help on introducing a toothbrush.