Brushing Teeth: A Home Care Guide for Pet Owners

Brushing Teeth: A Home Care Guide for Pet Owners

The best time to brush a dog’s teeth is after the evening meal when both you and your pet are relaxed.  If your dog growls, bites, scratches or shows any other signs of aggression during the procedure, stop immediately and consult your veterinarian for professional advice.


Gently position the dog in a corner (of a sofa, chair, or room) so that he will be secure and more easily handled.  Carefully lift the dog’s lips to expose his teeth.

Rub your finger over the dog’s teeth and gums for a minute or so.  This will get the dog used to having something in his mouth.  It might be necessary to do this a couple of days before going on to the next step.

Put a small amount of toothpaste specially formulated for pets on your finger and allow the pet to taste it.

Slide a finger brush onto your index finger and put a small amount of toothpaste on the brush.  Gently rub the brush over the dog’s teeth and gums.  If necessary, repeat this process in the next brushing session.  Because finger brushes don’t reach the gum line, they should be used for as short of a time as necessary.

Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a bristle brush.  Place the brush bristles at a 45 degree angle to the gum line.  Move the brush gently in circular patterns over the dog’s teeth.  Start by brushing a few teeth.  As the brushing sessions continue, slowly include more teeth.  Teeth should also be brushed in a back and forth motion.  Build up to about 30 seconds on each side of the dog’s mouth.

Tips for Success: 

  • Brush your dog’s teeth at least 2 or 3 times per week.
  • Concentrate on the outside of the teeth.
  • Praise the dog frequently during the procedure.
  • If your dog tolerates only a brief brushing, don’t be discouraged.  Getting some toothpaste onto the teeth and gums is better than not brushing at all.

Dear Greenway Pet Clinic Clients:

The global spread of COVID-19 is a concern for everyone. I wanted to let you know that Greenway Pet Clinic has also taken some preventative measures to ensure everyone’s safety, clients and employees alike.

We are continuing to do curbside service only, with the exception of end of life appointments. We appreciate peoples understanding about not entering the clinic. It is for everyone’s safety to keep a distance and not be confined in a small space. We also ask that clients wear masks when interacting with the staff. We wear masks continually inside so we can provide care to your pets and not spread the virus between each other.

I ask that if you are sick, stay home and do not bring your pet in. Please find someone else to bring your pet in if he or she needs to be seen. I want to try to accommodate all our patients but won’t be able to do that if my staff and I get sick.

In addition to daily temperature checks upon starting a shift and wearing a mask, any staff member who starts to feel sick will be sent home and asked to go get tested. If they do have the Coronavirus, they will have to stay home a minimum of ten days or 24 hours past resolution of signs if longer than ten days.

I am not sure when this curbside protocol will end. Unfortunately, this pandemic is far from being under control. I am looking forward to the day when the infection rate is under control and we can again have some sense of normalcy.

Please be safe and take care, Carole Treat DVM