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tips for brushing teeth
  • philly_ypphilly_yp
    Posts: 114
    I just tried to brush Finley's teeth and he was less than amused. The vet said that I should be brushing his teeth at least 3x a week so I hope I can figure out ways to make this easier. The main issue is that he won't stay still, and doesn't keep his mouth open so I just had to wedge the toothbrush in his mouth :\ I tried to give him lots of praise but he was not interested.

    Do your shibas do ok with getting their teeth brushed? How do you hold them or make it more enticing?
    Post edited by philly_yp at 2012-08-04 17:23:46
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    No. I don't brush my dogs teeth like that. I just give them a good raw meaty bone like a beef rib, turkey neck, or hunk of chicken and that takes care of any gunk.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Bootz does fine. A lot of praise during and after the brushing. I usually sit facing her. Then gently open her mouth and brush. After we are done i give her treats and a good head rub :)
  • RhondabeeRhondabee
    Posts: 175
    I don't force the toothbrush into Taizo's mouth. He smells the chicken-flavored toothpaste & voluntarily licks the toothbrush and then chews on it. I make sure he chews the brush on both sides of this mouth & then we are done. He watched my cat do it that way many times, and I think wanted to copy the cat.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    Good point rondabee, let the dog chew on it and massage its gums.....actually for Shibas since they often have a small jaw, use an infant/toddler tooth brush not the pet tooth brush sold at Petsmart or regular size etc. That is too big and annoys most. You can also use the finger tip tooth/gum massage item which works well too.

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2012-08-04 19:00:52
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Raw bones work great, but occasionally I brush as well but place the dogs on a grooming table to make it easier (on me!)
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Raw meaty bones can do wonders, but if your dog is prone to dental problems, they won't take care of the buildup on their own. Bowdu luckily doesn't seem to need his teeth brushed very often, but I include this in his dental regimen along with RMBs, dental supplements and chews. Even before we started brushing his teeth, I used to play a lot with his teeth and his gums, just sticking my fingers in there for a gentle inspection. Eventually, I built my way up to the finger brush, then an actual toothbrush.

    You can't go too slowly in getting your dog accustomed to the toothbrush in their mouth, in my opinion. It feels weird to them. They *will* squirm, and so fighting them just makes it worse. My Basenji is still extremely squirmy, which sucks because she's the one that desperately needs dental care and her muzzle is shaped such that it's *really* hard to get to her back teeth. I end up forgoing the brush half the time and just directly applying the toothpaste to her back teeth with a clean finger. She lets me scale her front teeth though. I have her relax with her head propped up against my thigh, and she just goes limp.

    Bowdu is NOT the type of dog that just goes limp. I usually find myself approaching him when he's just lounging on the futon or couch, already nice and relaxed. I'm very casual about the toothbrush when approaching him with it -- wouldn't want him to think I'm disturbing his peace. I don't want him to think it's exciting. Fun, sure. But it works better when he's calm.

    Here are some more tips from previous threads:
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-08-04 23:32:51
  • philly_ypphilly_yp
    Posts: 114
    Wow, thanks everyone for your help. Finley does get greenies and bully sticks regularly, and now that I'm transitioning him to raw he will also have bones to chew on. I definitely realized the first time around that forcing the toothbrush on him is far, far far from ideal and I now have some pointers on how to spin toothbrushing into an enjoyable, at least tolerable event for him. I know patience goes a long way, so hopefully he'll come around over time :)
  • brscrnsbrscrns
    Posts: 447
    We also use the finger tip/gum massage method. You can also use a piece of gauze with the toothpaste on it.
  • biz79biz79
    Posts: 13
    For us, brushing Kaiju's teeth is a 2 person job, 1 to hold him in place/keep his mouth closed and the other to lift his lip open and brush his teeth. It was originally pretty difficult when we first started 6 months ago, and would take us like 5-10 minutes, but he's gotten used to it and now we're done in a min or 2. I could probably manage it myself if I really needed to, but we've got a process going so why change it :)

    Anyways, here's what I've found that helps:
    1. Use a baby's toothbrush with soft bristles like static said above. The toothbrushes in the pet stores are too big/clunky and seem better suited for bigger teethed dogs rather than shiba's smaller teeth. The fingertip thing is okay, but didn't work as well as a traditional brush in my opinion and kept coming off GF's finger/couldn't reach back molars as well.

    2. Get flavored toothpaste also mentioned above. We use beef flavored Petrodex. He loves the stuff and licks it off the brush when placed in front of him. I'll give it to him as a treat after he's done brushing (or so he thinks), but really it's for brushing his tongue hehe.

    3. Be consistent. Kaiju hated it at first, but now he will bare through it and some day maybe enjoy it. Just keep doing it and praising him for it and it'll go smoother in no time. We started brushing Kaiju's teeth as soon as his adult teeth came in because the vet said he had weak enamel. She prescribed brushing 3x a week like you.

    Keep at it!
  • I recommend C.E.T Enzymatic Toothpaste by Virbac. The poultry flavor. And a three-sided dog toothbrush. The dogs run to get their teeth brushed. I love this toothpaste for the enzymes but also use baking soda and coconut oil for a toothpaste as well.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Coconut oil.. haha Saya loves coconut oil she thinks it's best thing ever. lol

    She also loves natural unsweetened coconut flakes she will do tricks for it. :)

    I haven't had to brush Saya's teeth, but she has horrible habit of chewing her treats like kibble or dog biscuits.. :\
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    Isn't baking soda harmful to dogs?
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Not sure some places say it's ok some not? I dunno.

    I don't use baking soda so not sure.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • kagurarapkagurarap
    Posts: 208

    AH a baby toothbrush! I was trying to figure out how the hell to brush the back of Tali's teeth that I can't reach with this giant clunky brush from the pet store and that makes so much sense! I've gotta try that. You've hopefully solved my issue because I'm trying to get my dog Tali used to brushing but she tries to eat the brush instead and I can't get to her back teeth because she's too busy trying to eat the brush...
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    I used to use a baby toothbrush for my Pom, but found that the toothbrush included in the CET Oral Hygiene Kit worked better. It has a brush at each end & the little one is perfect for getting into small mouths. Plus the CET toothpaste is great.

    I try to brush Elwood's teeth too, but he's really a butt about it so he usually just gets a dental bone. His teeth are in way better shape than Sadie's anyways.
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • Bump.

    Banjo has some plaque build up and the holistic vet gave me a gel to apply to the affected area (one tooth only. It's an impacted tooth and the only one that has an issue).

    Problem is he can't eat or drink for thirty minutes after. Therefore treats are out of the question. Any tips on how to make this worth his while?
  • Can you maybe go for a walk?
  • Perhaps you could hide one of his favorite toys and he only gets it after tooth brushing.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Great idea - doggy playtime right afterwards! How often do you have to apply it? Banjo is so young, why already an issue? :(
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • It should be applied once a day. He has an impacted tooth which has no space between it and other teeth and thus attracts plaque. Basically his teeth didn't grow in properly.

    Its not a huge issue but can develop into one. I am currently just fighting with him and jamming my finger in his mouth. Its hardly ideal.

    I'll try the play time today and see what comes of it.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    I know this might seem like a drastic measure, but why not pull one of his teeth? If this is going to be a lifelong struggle for him, it seems to me like getting more space in there might be well worth the effort, especially if he does not tolerate you messing with his teeth very well.

    (granted, I guess it all depends on which teeth are affected...)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • That's my last option but one I am considering. I am going to simply try putting the gel on a brush tonight and seeing what happens. Play time as a motivator was a failure. :(
    Post edited by BanjoTheBetaDog at 2015-01-16 10:12:07
  • I was at the pet store yesterday and noticed that Arm&Hammer has gotten into the pet oral care business, and had some non-traditional flavors out that picky dogs may enjoy more than the standard meat flavored pastes. Mine seem to prefer the vanilla/ginger flavor.

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