Brushing Teeth: Tips and Tricks

  • Ideally, start when they’re young to make it easier for them to accept.  But this is still do-able in an older animal.
  • Use only veterinary toothpastes and brushes as these are safe to ingest and extra soft on their gums.
  • Brush daily to make it a part of your regular routine; twice weekly is acceptable if you’re too busy.
  • Be patient, give praise and reassurance throughout, and take it one step at a time.  Don’t get discouraged if you have to stay at one step for a few days-weeks.  You’re training your pet to accept teeth brushing.  I’m sure you didn’t teach them to “roll-over” all in one day!
  • Make it a POSITIVE experience for you and your pet!


For the best results, follow these simple steps:


  1. Start by simply getting your pet used to you handling their muzzle/mouth area.  Choose a quiet place and time, and rub your finger over the outer surfaces of your pet’s teeth for a few seconds on a regular basis, gradually building up to rubbing all the teeth in the mouth.  End each session with a treat, praise, or cuddles!  Once comfortable with this step (may take a few days) move on to the next step:


  1. On a day that you have not already been handling your pet, have them taste the toothpaste off of your finger.


If they don’t like the taste of the toothpaste, don’t worry!  We have quite a few flavors that we are sure to find one for your pet.  All C.E.T. products are fully refundable if your pet doesn’t like the taste.


  1. Once they accept the taste of the paste, use your finger to rub it on the teeth and gums; starting with the canines (fangs) and gradually working around the whole mouth.  When this becomes a comfortable process, move on to the next step.


  1. NOW you can try it with a toothbrush!  Wet the toothbrush and “smush” the paste into the bristles.  Hold the toothbrush like you would a pen and brush the canine teeth in a circular motion.  Work at this step until it feels comfortable for you and your pet.



  1. NEXT, brush the cheek teeth, working from the back to front using a “back-and-forth” motion.  To brush the lower teeth you will need to open the mouth a bit.  Gently tilt the head back while holding on to the upper jaw with the thumb and index finger of your free hand.


Gradually build up the amount of time and pressure applied to each tooth.  The goal is about 30 seconds of good brushing per side top and bottom.  This may take several days to weeks to work up to.


  1. Then, brush the front teeth.  Gently lift/lower each lip and brush teeth in an “up-and-down” motion.


  1. You final step is to give lots of love, praise and affection to your pet.  Maybe even a dental chew!


Don’t forget to wash your hands after and rinse the toothbrush thoroughly before putting it away.  Use a different brush for each pet.