It isn't uncommon for pet owners to overlook dental care for their pets, but canines, just like humans, can experience oral health issues like gingivitis and tartar if their teeth aren't regularly cleaned. If you have never brushed your pup's teeth, then you may be a bit apprehensive to start doing so. Luckily, that's where the following tips come in. These tips will help to ensure that you feel comfortable while cleaning your pup's teeth and that your canine's teeth stay healthy.

Utilize Specialized Dental Products

While it is possible that a human toothbrush will work just fine, it is not only easier but also more effective if you use a toothbrush that is specifically designed for canine teeth. Many pet care products are available, most of which are easy to use thanks to being designed to slide right onto your finger. When you brush, make sure that you angle it slightly—similar to the way that you do when you brush your teeth—and brush in small, circular motions. Use a toothpaste that has been approved by your veterinarian, dental pads, and gum wipes.

Stay Calm and Take Your Time

Don't expect your pup to cooperate with the process immediately, which can be a bit frustrating for you. However, it is imperative that you stay calm; don't get angry, as this could scare your dog, increasing the risk of possible injury with the tools that you're using. Before you get started brushing, make sure that you have plenty of time set aside for the process. Also, be realistic about it all. In other words, don't expect it to go smoothly the first time around. If you need to, break the brushing up into multiple sessions to get it done.

Ensure Your Pup Is Comfortable

Don't start the brushing process until your dog is completely relaxed, such as after a walk or in the evening. Let your dog sit in a favorite place and let him sniff/lick the dental care products so that he gets comfortable with them. Sit down beside your pup so he doesn't feel intimidated and then introduce the toothbrush. If you notice your dog is uncomfortable, stop and don't fight it. Otherwise, you could traumatize your dog, making it difficult to try again later.

For more advice on pet dental care, get in touch with your local veterinarian. If you need some first-hand, hands-on advice, schedule an appointment with the vet and take your pet with you.