Brushing your pets teeth is not the easiest thing in the world to do, especially if your pet is not used to you handling it near its mouth. By getting your pet used to you working around and in its mouth at a young age, you will make the process of tooth brushing go smoother when your pet is older and needs brushing. Proper restraint is the key to getting your pet to cooperate. We will show you some techniques that can be used by one person or two people in cooperation.
A good time to start is when you are watching TV at night and your pet is in your lap. Get your pet used to your hands around its face, and eventually insert your finger in its mouth. Dipping your finger in food that tastes good to your pet is helpful. Eventually you will be able to use the finger brush to gently brush the teeth. If you are patient, take your time, and make it fun, you stand a good chance of being successful.
Restraining Small Pets
The key to restraining a small pet for tooth brushing is to use as little force as possible. One person can restrain while the other brushes the teeth, although one person can usually brush a small pets teeth alone.
Start by putting your friend on a table while talking in a soothing voice and petting it. Have your tooth brush or finger brush already on the table. Hug your pet to you with one hand while simultaneously holding its head and neck gently with your other hand. This method works well with many cats.
If your pet uses its front legs to push your hands out of its mouth you can solve this problem by holding the front legs, always with one of your fingers between the legs.
A towel can be used for some additional restraint. Wrap it loosely around the body and hug your pet to you. If necessary, the front legs can be held also.
It is sometimes advantageous to include the front legs in the wrap. This towel will need to be wrapped tighter if you want the legs to stay in.
Once restrained you can introduce your finger, a piece of gauze, a finger brush, or a tooth brush into the mouth. Rub in a gentle motion while talking in soothing tones to your pet.
You can turn the head gently or completely reposition yourself to do the other side.