Teeth Brushing for cats and dogs

Thank you to VIRBAC for allowing the reproduction of this information on our website. 


Frequent Plaque removal will prevent the start of periodontal disease and toothbrushing is considered the single most important effective method for removing this plaque.  It is important to use a toothbrush and toothpaste that are designed for pets. 


Pet toothbrushes are ultra-soft and shaped to fit your pets mouth and teeth. 


VIRBAC toothpastes have flavours that appeal to pets and need not be rinsed out unlike human toothpastes which are not designed to be swallowed. 


It is best to begin brushing when your puppy and kitten is between 7 and 12 weeks of age but it is never too late to start even when your pet is older.


The daily brushing procedure should be pleasant for both you and your pet.  Choose a time when you can enjoy a few minutes of relaxed contact with your pet.  Most pets accept brushing very well, if they are introduced to the procedure in a calm and patient way. 



How to introduce brushing to your cat or dog - Step by Step:


Day 1:

Gently stroke the outside of your pet's cheeks with your finger only (no brush) and slowly lift the lip for about 30 seconds.  Reward, praise and treat at the end of the session.


Day 2:

Repeat as above and also place a small amount of toothpaste on the end of your finger and let your pet sample it.


Day 3:

Repeat Day 2 but this time gently run your finger or finger toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste over your pets teeth for 30-45 seconds.  Reward with a VIRBAC dental treat or praise. 


Day 4:

Repeat Day 3 adding 15 seconds time to running your finger or finger toothbrush over your pet's teeth.  Always reward with a VIRBAC dental treat or praise.


Day 5:

Repeat as Day 4 and increase time by 30 seconds


Day 6:

By this time you should be aiming to spend at least one minute on each side of the mouth.


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