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How do I brush my dog’s teeth?

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra - Hi, my tiny (3lb.) "Wa-Wa" had her teeth cleaned and 2 ext. Done 2 weeks age-she is so much happier. I work in a dental office and realize the importance of now keeping them clean. Although I can't seem to figure out how to clean her teeth, she is very little and wants nothing to do with it. Please offer any advice you may have, Thank You! (HELP)

Also, a vet told me dogs could take "Pepto Bismol", pink liquid, is this true?

Leslie Krueger


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. You are right – dental hygiene is important to dogs. Daily tooth brushing is ideal to help prevent dental disease. We have a very good article on how to brush your dog's teeth that you should read. Go to: How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth.

The key is to start slowly and even start with some flavored tooth paste. You can work on just rubbing toothpaste near or on the teeth and gradually work up to brushing over several days (or weeks if necessary). There are several different styles of brushes (including some that are finger cots) that can work well.

As far as Pepto bismol – you can give it to your dog – but only with a veterinarian's instruction. The medication contains aspirin and can interact with some other medications and could not be given without approval of your vet. An article that might be helpful to you is Bismuth Subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol®, Kaopectate®).

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra




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