You value your pooch just like any other member of your family, so, you have to treat them the same way when it comes to health as well! This means you need to clean his teeth as best you can and make sure that you do it properly to ensure his health and well being, just like the other members of your family.
Unlike your children, however, dogs cannot be trained to brush their own teeth. Therefore, you need to make sure that you make teeth cleaning a regular part of your routine with your dog so that he always has a great smile (and breath!) Here’s all the information you need to worry about.
Start as early as possible
First of all, teeth brushing should be started as early as possible in your Jack Russell Terrier’s life so that he can get used to the sensation of it. Ideally, it would be as much a part of his routine as going for a walk or playing catch.
If you start it later in life, he won’t like it as much and he’ll find it an activity that he doesn’t like at all. Remember that brushing your Terrier’s teeth should be a pleasant experience, a time in which you can spend time together and enjoy it as much as possible.
If you don’t enjoy it, your dog will pick up on that and won’t enjoy it either. Start early, and keep it a positive experience with kind words and positive reinforcement. You’ll both get a lot out of it.
Now, in terms of actually brushing your dog’s teeth, there is a process to follow when starting him out with this routine. First, get your dog used to you handling his mouth.
Every day, a couple times if you can, make sure you handle his mouth, pushing his lips up and even touching his teeth if he’ll let you do that.
Give him lots of praise and kind words so that he sees it as a positive experience. Once this step is complete, work in the toothpaste.
Choosing and introducing a toothpaste
In terms of toothpaste, you need to make sure you use only pet ones. Human ones can be harmful for your dog, and the animal toothpastes have more appealing flavors for your dogs, so they’ll see it as a treat instead of a chore or something tedious.
If you aren’t sure which one you are going to be best with, ask your vet or do some research online for samples. You get all sorts of options there that are pet safe. For example, we like KissAble Dog Toothpaste that is vanilla favored, but there are lots of other flavors available so there is a chance you’ll have to experiment to find the one your Jack will like.
When your dog is used to you handling his mouth and is comfortable with it, introduce the toothpaste to him. Let him smell the tube and put a tiny bit of it on your finger for him to lick off and explore for himself. Odds are, he’ll like the taste. The next time, if you can, put some toothpaste on your finger and touch it to his front teeth.
He’ll lick it off. If he isn’t hostile, you can introduce him to the brush next.
Choosing and introducing a toothbrush
This is where you choose how you want to brush your dog’s teeth. There are all sorts of toothbrushes out there for your Jack Russell Terrier, including a finger brush and one with an extra long handle. Choose the style that you think is right for your dog’s comfort and personality.
We like those finger brushes, like KissAble Finger Brush for Dogs as they are convenient and easy to use. Maybe you’ll find that it easier for you to use a brush with a handle, like KissAble Pet Toothbrush. Remember that every dog is different so if one finds one paste and brush great, other won’t like that particular ones.
Introducing the toothbrush to him should be done around the same time (or, ideally, at the exact same time) as you are getting him used to handling his mouth. He’ll want to sniff and even nibble on the brush. Make sure he understands it’s not a chew toy, though!
When you have him used to that and the toothpaste, it’s time to combine the two of them into one experience.
Getting your dog to like teeth brushing time
The first couple times there is a chance he won’t much like you brushing his teeth, no matter how prepared he is. Keep at it and give him treats after and praise during the experience. Start slow, even if you brush just a small part of your dog’s teeth first few times, that’s ok. Each time you do it, you’ll brush a bit more.
He’ll get used to it eventually and will see it as a fun time between you and him. Keep your bushing consistent too, with the time that you would get him used to the different parts. That’ll keep him in his routine.
In terms of brushing his teeth physically, you need to make sure that you get all of his teeth, even the back ones. Odds are that your dog will only allow you to clean the outside of his teeth and not the inside because he’ll feel like he’s choking. This is fine, the point is to make sure you clean his teeth as frequently as you can without making him feel scared or nervous by you pushing him to dislike it.
Keep your Jack Russell Terrier’s teeth brushed regularly, preferably once a day. The more you brush them, the healthier he’ll be, meaning less money needed at the vet, and a more pleasant life for both of you!
Teeth cleaning chew toys
You can also take a look at all of the toys and bones that are out there which will tackle tartar so that you dog doesn’t have a build up. If you dog loves to chew, this is a great addition to the teeth brushing routine. If your Jack Russell Terrier won’t let you brush his teeth at all, no matter how hard you try, this could give you a great alternative, too!
Our choice is Nylabone Dental Chew Bacon flavored Pro Action Bone as it’s sturdy and specifically textured for teeth cleaning and Kala, my Happy Jack Russell, loves that bacon flavor.
Brushing your Jack Russell Terrier’s teeth is incredibly important and you need to make sure that you do it as often as you can so that you both can have great lives. It’s a bonding experience between the two of you and it is time in which you know you get to hang out with him and also make sure he is in good health. Who knows, your dog may even have healthier teeth than you by the end of this! That’d be weird!
If you have any teeth brushing question that is left unanswered or you have a hack that makes brushing your dog teeth a breeze, share it with us in the comments below.