This shop [How to Brush a Stubborn Dog's Teeth] has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BestPawForward #CollectiveBias
Everyone knows how important it is to keep yourself and your family healthy so they have a shot at a long and prosperous life. Eating well and making healthier choices always makes me feel like I’m doing something wonderful. While I’m making smarter choices by preparing healthier foods and going on long walks with the fiance, it’s hard to forget about our other favorite walking companion.
If you’ve never dropped by my about me page, perhaps you haven’t been formally introduced to this little dude. His name is Beanie and he’s our feisty 9 pound miniature dachshund. (For any other doxie lovers, he’s a black and tan smooth haired dapple.) His favorite pastimes include destroying chew toys, barking at the neighbors and cunningly begging for treats at strategic hours throughout the day. He’s quite the stubborn little pooch.
The funny thing about dachshunds is that they are notoriously stubborn in mostly all of the things they do. It makes my job as his caretaker really interesting. He’s also stubborn in the regards of not wanting to eat certain flavors of dog food. He’s also a hoot when it comes time to brush his teeth. We think he needs to have his teeth brushed. He thinks he’d rather chew up the toothbrush so it can never brush his teeth ever again.
So you may be wondering - how in the world does brushing a stubborn dog’s teeth have anything to do with health and fitness? It has quite a bit to do with health and fitness, and I’ll get there in a minute if you bear with me!
In this house, we believe that dental health plays a big part in having a clean bill of overall health. Now, we may not get to brush the little dude’s teeth as often as we brush our own, but canine dental health is definitely important, especially since he discovers all of life’s little treasures with his mouth and teeth. (Current favorite treasures include our socks and the plastic knobs that cover toilet bowl bolts...don’t ask. He is a weird animal.)
I don’t know about you, but the big guy and I work full time jobs and feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. Tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way! So when we get out of work after a long day or have a free weekend with no plans, the last thing we want to do is bounce between several stores running errands.
So instead of having to tote our behinds to both the grocery store AND the pet supplies store (on top of all the other places we go when we run errands), it’s amazing to be able to pick up all of our healthy foods and snacks at our local Stop & Shop. Now we can load up on ingredients to make our own homemade granola or ground coffee for cold brew iced coffee as well as scoop up these delightful little Purina DentaLife daily oral care treats for Beanie. Stop & Shop also has a surprising variety of chew toys and healthy solutions for pets, so we picked a chew toy up for him as well.
In the spirit of good dental health for both humans and canines, I created a tutorial on how to brush a stubborn dog’s teeth. If your dog is also stubbornly adamant about not having his/her teeth brushed, I hope this tutorial helps you keep their teeth squeaky clean in between regular veterinary office visits. Anything that helps keep pups healthy* is alright with us.
How to Brush a Stubborn Dog’s Teeth:
Step 1 - If possible, choose a time of day where your pooch will be tired and less likely to become annoyed at having his/her teeth brushed. Choose an area that your pup feels comfortable in, but in closed enough quarters so that he/she won’t run away if they find the tooth brushing session unpleasant. We chose to use 2 people to complete this task. I was the brusher and my assistant was the “dog tamer”.
Step 2 - Have your supplies ready. We picked up a toothbrush and toothpaste kit that included a two sided toothbrush with different size brushes. It also included a finger brush.
Step 3 - Introduce the toothbrush to your dog before applying the toothpaste. They will usually be less likely to reject the fully prepared toothbrush if they have been previously introduced to the toothbrush without the toothpaste on it. We let him sniff it a little bit and then gently placed it in his mouth.
Step 4 - After your dog has been sufficiently acquainted with the toothbrush, apply toothpaste to the brush. Gently lift your dog’s upper cheek/lip area to expose their teeth. Begin by brushing one side at a time. If necessary, take a short break in between sides so that your pooch doesn’t become overwhelmed.
Step 5 - If possible, work quickly. If pauses are necessary, follow these up with a lot of praise and pets so that your dog associates tooth brushing as a good experience and not a traumatic one.
Step 6 - Wipe off any excess with a paper towel so you don’t find toothpaste slobber someplace in the house later. Praise your stubborn pup for a job well done and celebrate a successful tooth brushing session with a Purina DentaLife dental chew!
We love that the DentaLife chews are supposed to help keep Beanie’s teeth clean in between brushings. He loves the flavor of the chew and is none the wiser about having his teeth cleaned while he enjoys a little treat!
How do you try to keep your pets healthy? Let me know in the comments!
* A quick note: Not to be taken as professional veterinary advice. Please consult your veterinarian for recommendations and practices appropriate for your pet.