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pet dentistry servicesHow to Brush Your Pet's Teeth

Pets are an important part of our lives for many years. As such, dental care is a very important part of extending your pet's good health and quality of years with you. Dental disease is by far the most common problem seen in our pet population today. More than 85% of all dogs and cats presented to veterinarians are affected by dental problems. Periodontal disease is what causes bad breath as well as painful gums and eventual tooth loss.

We recommend dental care at home for your pets, just like for the rest of the family. It is best to begin home care at an early age (8-12 weeks) during puppy- or kittenhood, but it is never too late. Visible tartar should be removed ultrasonically in a process known as scaling and polishing, just like when people go to the dentist. This makes your home care efforts easier and more effective. Always remember to make it FUN!

Supplies: Washcloth or pet toothbrush and pet toothpaste (available through us)

Week 1: SLOWLY ACQUAINT YOUR PET WITH MOUTH CARE. Using your hand, gently open the pet's mouth and run your finger around his or her lips, etc. This should begin for just 30 seconds on day one and progress to a couple of minutes by the end of the week. Reward your pet with a small treat at the end of each session. (No "people food" please!)

Week 2: INTRODUCING TOOTHBRUSH OR WASHCLOTH WITHOUT PASTE. This week, use either a wet washcloth wrapped around your index finger or a wet toothbrush on the teeth. Lift lips. Massage the outer surfaces only of upper and lower teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do this for 30 seconds on day one and progress up to three minutes by the week's end.

Week 3: ADD TOOTHPASTE; EXTEND BRUSHING TIME. This week use your dental cleaning instrument and add 3/4 inch of toothpaste to brush the outer surfaces only of upper and lower teeth in a back-and-forth motion.


  • Don't rush the brushing process or your pet may become resistant.
  • Always give a treat at the end of a session to make it enjoyable. PRAISE your pet highly.
  • If your pet shows any indication of aggression (growling, baring teeth, biting, scratching, etc.), stop immediately. Call our office for further advice.
  • NEVER use human toothpaste.
  • Cleaning at home will help reduce the frequency of professional dental care.
  • Will Milkbones take care of the problem? NO! If you ate a Milkbone a day you would still need to brush. Milkbones help, but they can't do the job alone.


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Fegenbush Lane Animal Clinic
7816 Outer Loop Louisville, KY 40228

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Fegenbush Lane Animal Clinic

7816 Outer Loop
Louisville, KY 40228

Phone: 502-239-8530

We accept Visa.We accept MasterCard.We accept Discover.