How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Hoss & Walter, Pets, Canine Hygiene You probably know by now that we have two dogs – Hoss (obviously the larger one) and Walter.  They’re both rescue dogs.  Hoss came with the name.  The boys didn’t want to change it to something else, because they didn’t want him to be confused.  And – at 150+ pounds and legs long enough that he could eat off the dining table if we’d allow it – the name fits.  Hoss is a big, gentle giant of a dog.  He’s such a love.  He rarely barks unless he’s playing (and then it sounds like he’s going to rip your face off, but he’s just having a little fun), and he never bites.  Well – if you don’t remind him to be gentle when taking treats, you may get nipped a bit, but he doesn’t mean to hurt you.  He just gets really excited over treats.  And dinner.  And other snacks.  Hoss loves food, especially since he’s on a diet.  He needs to lose about 20 pounds.

Walter was called “Bugsy” or something like that when Rachel adopted him.  She is a genius at naming dogs, and she’s the one who renamed Walter.  It fits him so well.  Walter is more cat than dog.  Walter can be a love, and he barks ferociously if he thinks anything might be coming after us – even if it’s just the reflection of the computer screen saver in the window.  At 3 a.m.  But if you call him and he’s busy doing something else, he ignores you.  He may look up, but if there’s no treat in sight, he goes back to what he was doing.  We’re not sure how old he is, but we think somewhere between 8 and 12.  He’s very independent.

I blogged a few months ago about how we had to sneak Walter his pills.  Today I decided he needed to have his teeth brushed.  From the looks of them and the strength of his breath, I don’t think they’ve ever been brushed.   We slip him green bones as often as we can, but I thought a good brushing was in order.

We bought a Clinical Pet Care Toothpaste & Brush Set at the pet store.  It came with toothpaste, two brushes and a finger brush.  The instructions read, “Put a small amount of toothpaste on your finger and invite the dog to lick it off.  Slowly progress to rubbing your finger along the gum line and teeth.  Then, put a small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush and/or finger brush and do the same.  Always make this a positive experience for your dog.”

Walter, Canine Hygiene, PetsWell, that certainly sounded easy enough.  I mean, look at that sweet little dog.  How hard could this be?  (I think I need to stop saying that.)

First, Walter declined the invitation to lick the toothpaste off my finger.  I had to pry his mouth open and convince him that it tasted good.  It’s poultry flavored, for Pete’s sake.  He loves chicken.  (Obviously not “Fresh Mint Scent” chicken.)  Walter was not fooled by the, “It tastes like chicken!” line.

I tried again, and this time he did lick a little of it before he clamped his jaws down.  I put a little on the finger brush, and realized the stuff on Walter’s teeth wasn’t coming off with a rubber finger brush.

I put a little of the toothpaste on the toothbrush.  It took one hand to hold a squirming Walter, one to hold the toothbrush, and one to open his mouth – and by my count, that’s one more hand than I have.  At this point, I realized I was losing the battle.

We played around at this for about 3 minutes until I felt a warm spot in my lap.  I’m not sure how many teeth got cleaned – if any, but Walter licked quite a bit of the toothpaste off the brush.  Most got slobbered back on me, because my sweatshirt was covered in mint scented, poultry flavored toothpaste.  And I’m fairly sure the wet spot on my lap was not from drool.  Ah, well.  We had to do laundry anyway.

Needless to say, this was not a positive experience for Walter.  Or for me.  I’m thinking if he’s lived this long without having his teeth brushed and he’s still healthy, we’ll just continue with the green bones.  The toothbrush is now stored in the same cabinet as the “pet pill popper.”  I don’t even want to think what Hoss will do.  He’ll probably just eat the whole tube in one big gulp and call it a nice snack.

Thanks for stopping by!  I’ll have a stamping project to show you tomorrow.  Have a wonderful day!

About buffycooper

Among other things, I am a musician who enjoys papercrafting (specifically with rubber stamps), a Stampin' Up!® demonstrator, Christian, wife and mom to two great boys.
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