How to Brush your Pet's Teeth

Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth at Home

Brushing your pet’s teeth can go a long way toward preventing dental disease.  Some pets resist brushing, but most eventually accept it, especially if you start a brushing routine when your pet is young.  Aim at brushing your pet’s teeth once a day or at least twice a week.

Step 1: Choose a pet toothpaste that your pet likes.  (Don’t use human toothpaste, it may be toxic in pets if ingested)  We carry CET Toothpaste in Malt, Chicken and Salmon flavors.

Step 2: Begin by placing a small amount of toothpaste on your finger and offer it to your pet daily for several days as a reward or treat.  Once your pet accepts toothpaste as a reward, use your finger to simulate the brushing motion of a toothbrush, while praising the pet.

Step 3: In 5-7 days, introduce a soft-bristled pet toothbrush or a finger brush.  Apply the flavored toothpaste at the beginning and end of brushing to reinforce the behavior. 

Step 4: The brushing technique for dogs and cats is similar to that for people. Make small circular strokes at the gum line while rotating the bristles outward to remove debris.  Start at the back teeth and work forward and around to the other side. Eight to 10 strokes are usually sufficient for a given area.  You may try to brush the inner surfaces of your pet’s teeth, but natural saliva does do this on it’s own.

Step 5: No need to rinse, but toys, treats, rawhide chews and specially formulated foods are available to keep your pet’s teeth clean. (Such as CET Oral Rinse, CET Rawhide Chews, and CET Water Additive)  Use these in addition to brushing.


Peak, Michael, DVM. Caring for your pet’s teeth and gums. Veterinary Medicine, 2003



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