Here`s another great article:
My dog is 9. I got her when she was 7, and she had a dental cleaning a few months after I got her, about 2 years ago. She didn't have to have any teeth pulled. She has never been a fan of having her teeth brushed, so I tend to slack a little at home and typically have her groomer brush them when she goes in for her monthly bath. But only recently she has started bordering on where she's freaking out when she has them brushed. Her groomer has told me she is getting worse every time, and that she now has to physically cover her eyes to brush her teeth.
A couple weeks ago, her groomer told me her gums were bleeding on one side. I took her to the vet and she has gingivitis. She has more plaque on the side of her mouth with gingivitis, and her vet said she is most likely favoring one side when she chews. She is also concerned about the fact that she has only recently become so averse to having her teeth brushed and that it could mean something in her mouth might be painful or bothersome. I am scheduling a dental cleaning for her ASAP, but unfortunately that won't be until October. (Edit because I first mistakenly said August)
I was able to kind of brush her teeth tonight by having my boyfriend help me hold her. Brushing her teeth this way is miserable. She freaks out, and has to be put in a hold. She was struggling and moving her head the whole time I was brushing her teeth. I hate this because I can barely see that I'm doing, and I'm worried that I'm going to do more harm than good by irritating her gums. Her gums were bleeding again when I brushed her teeth.
Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this? I have tried multiple brands and flavors of toothpaste, and have tried getting her to lick it off my finger. The only difference is that she hates some of the toothpastes more than others, but she hates them all. She doesn't even like the smell of toothpaste now because she thinks I'm going to brush her teeth. I don't know how I can reward her after having her teeth brushed, because she needs to not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after brushing in order for it to work properly. I really don't want to train my dog to be afraid of having her teeth brushed, but I need to brush them for the sake of her dental health.
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