To commemorate February as National Pet Dental Health Month, following are some basic tips for maintaining your pit bull’s good oral health at home via toothbrushing.
How to Do It:
- To acclimate your dog to the process, begin with a drop of toothpaste that he can lick off your finger, followed by gentle gum massage.
- Increase the amount of time spent with each subsequent gum massage. It is recommended that you ultimately spend 1 to 2 minutes per brushing.
- Once your dog is accustomed to the feeling, phase in the use of a toothbrush.
- Daily toothbrushings are preferred for optimal oral health.
- Use a toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs, as human toothpaste is not fit for consumption, and dogs can’t spit.
- Don’t brush too vigorously, as this can strip enamel from the teeth and injure the gums.
- Don’t brush when in a hurry—this will likely have the undesirable consequence of toothbrushing aversion in your dog.
Sources: Veterinary Oral Health Council: http://www.vohc.org/perio.htm Kate Knutson. Caring for your pet’s teeth. Healthy Pet. Winter 2009.
(Thank you, Brewski, for modelling.)