published Friday, February 4th, 2011, updated Feb. 4th, 2011 at 2:55 p.m.

Tips on brushing your dog’s teeth

American Kennel Club

Brushing your dog’s teeth is an important part of grooming your dog. It is a task that must be done regularly to keep his mouth and teeth in tip top shape and prevent bad breath and gum disease. The American Kennel Club offers the following tips on effectively brushing your dog’s teeth.

Brush your dog’s teeth daily so it becomes routine.

Use a flavored enzymatic toothpaste that is specially formulated for dogs with a doggie or child’s toothbrush. Brush his teeth like you would your own and concentrate on the gumline.

Consistency is key. Start with short sessions, even letting your dog just lick the brush or touch it to one tooth so he gets used to it. Then work up to more thorough brushing sessions. Try different flavors of toothpaste to see which one he likes best. Make sure to reward with praise and a dental treat.

If his gums start to bleed or he is showing any signs of pain, call your veterinarian. This may be a sign of gum disease. If you see that he has accumulated brown tartar, he needs to have a professional dental cleaning.

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