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Brushing a Dog's Teeth

The Martha Stewart Show, September 2005

Everyone is aware that dogs need to be groomed and exercised, but do you know their teeth should be brushed regularly? Pet stores sell toothbrushes and toothpastes made especially for dogs (you should never use toothpastes meant for people since they can make a dog very ill).

But getting your dog to let you brush its teeth can sometimes be difficult. If your dog puts up a lot of resistance, it may be trying to communicate that it hurts. Ease into the process by wrapping your finger in gauze and putting it gently into the dog's mouth, running your finger along its teeth and gums.

It's best to start this process when the dog is young; if it is no longer a puppy, go at it slowly in short sessions. Once the dog has become accustomed to the process, switch to a finger brush and some toothpaste.