how to brush a pugs teeth

How to Brush A Pugs Teeth What You Need To Know

Nothing is better than getting those doggie kisses from your Pug. That is until you start realizing that their breath stinks and you haven’t brushed their teeth in months. In this article, you’ll learn how to brush a Pugs teeth, what you need, and why Pug dental cleaning is vital.

Brushing Your Pug’s Teeth

You’ll need a soft dog toothbrush or child’s brush, doggie toothpaste, and some treats to give to your pooch after they’ve let you brush their teeth. We’ll cover these items in more detail below, but first, let’s talk about the importance of cleaning your dog’s teeth.

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Why Brush Your Pug’s Teeth?

pug teeth
It’s important to get your Pug into the habit of cleaning their teeth.

Studies have shown that dental disease affects 80% of dogs by 3 years of age, unfortunately, this breed is more likely than other dogs to have problems with their teeth.

Pugs are brachycephalic dogs that already have several health issues, dental issues can be contained with proper care.

I understand that most dogs don’t like their teeth brushed, but it’s a vital part of pet ownership, especially, if you don’t want your dog to suffer painful dental issues.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

According to Merck Vet Manual, it is an infection and inflammation of the periodontium (the tisues that surround and support the teeth).

Like you and I, our pets can develop periodontal disease when their teeth are not properly cared for. As dogs eat, particles can get stuck in their teeth, which turn to plaque and tartar build-up. When not removed, it will cause irritation and inflamed gums, which can eventually lead to tooth loss.

The bacteria from your dog’s mouth will eventually cause damage to the internal organs such as the kidneys and heart. According to Banfield’s Applied Research and Knowledge (BARK) pets that suffer from periodontal disease are more likely to experience heart disease.

Periodontal is not only painful, but is irreversible. The great thing is that it can be prevented with regular dog teeth cleaning.

How Often Should I Brush My Pug’s Teeth?

To keep your Pug’s pearly whites healthy, you should find the time to brush them once daily. I know that it can be a hard time fitting your dog’s daily brushing routine into your busy schedule.

According to PetMD, your pooch can avoid serious dental disease just by brushing your dog’s teeth at home 2-3 times per week. This shouldn’t replace the professional cleaning they need once every year.

What Can I Use To Brush My Pug’s Teeth?

Now that you know the importance of keeping your Pug’s teeth clean, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to get started.

Toothbrush for Small Dogs

For a small dog like a Pug, you’ll want to use any of the following:

  • Finger brushes
  • Canine-specific toothbrushes
  • Children’s toothbrushes
  • Gauze

Finger brushes are made of either silicone or rubber that slide over your finger like a finger puppet. You then take that finger and gently massage your Pug’s teeth and gums. They are only suitable if your calm dogs that won’t bite. An enthusiastic or stressed dog may bite down on it — with your finger inside. Here are some of the Pug toothbrushes to help you out.

Canine specific toothrushes are similar to the toothbrush you have in your bathroom, except it’s designed specifically for dogs. They come in many different sizes, and shapes, so it’s important to choose the right size for your Pug.

A child’s toothbrush has a small-head and soft bristles which should work well with this small breed. The soft bristles will clean canine teeth without irritating the sensitive gums. Whatever you do, you don’t want to use one of your old regular sized toothbrushes on your dog.

If you don’t have a child’s toothbrush or haven’t bought one for your dog, you can still brush their teeth if you have gauze. Just take a piece of gauze and wrap it around your finger at a 45-degree angle. Gently rub your dog’s teeth in small circular motions. Make sure you don’t have long nails that can poke your dog and make them bleed.

Toothpaste for Pugs

Use dog’s specific toothpaste aka enzymatic toothpaste that is designed to fight bad breath, reduce bacteria, and remove tartar. They come in several different flavors that your dog will love. You never want to use human toothpaste to clean your dog’s teeth. I’ve put together a list of some of the best toothpaste for Pugs to help you out.

How to Brush A Pugs Teeth: Step-by-Step Instructions

pug teeth cleaning
With proper training you can teach your Pug to love getting their teeth cleaned.

The best advice is to start getting your puppy used to this from an early age. Of course, if you’ve adopted a older Pug, then you’ll need to take the following steps and develop some patience, especially if your dog has never had their teeth cleaned.

#1 Pick A Consistent Time And Room

Remember, dogs are creatures of habit and learn best when they are on a set schedule. To easily brush your dog’s teeth, you’ll want to train them at the same time and place on a daily basis.

Your dog will learn quicker when they know what to expect. Remember, when you first started potty training your Pug, you set a training schedule to help them learn quickly. The same process applies to dental hygiene habits.

#2 Get Them Used To Your Finger In Their Mouth

Before introducing the paste or toothbrush, teach your dog that it’s okay for you to stick your fingers in their mouth. Start out by putting some peanut butter (or their favorite treat) on the tip of your finger and let your dog lick it off. As they are licking gently rub your finger along their teeth and gums, just like you would do when you’re brushing their teeth.

Repeat this process twice a day for about a week or until they are used to your finger massaging their teeth.

#3 Introduce The Toothbrush & Toothpaste

The best way to introduce the toothbrush is to add some toothpaste to the brush end of it and just let them lick it off. As they become more comfortable with the toothbrush, focus on massaging only the top teeth during the training as they are easiest to get to.

Hold their upper lip and with the dominant hand gently move the brush in a circular motion away from your dog’s gums.

#4 Brush All Their Teeth

Once they are comfortable with you brushing their top teeth, you can now focus on brushing the rest of their teeth. Start brushing both the inside and outside of the teeth.

The inside of your dog’s teeth will be much harder than the outside, so make sure that your dog is calm and doesn’t mind the toothbrush. I always found it easier to use a finger brush to tackle the inside of the teeth as I could manuever my finger easier than a long toothbrush.

Test it out and see which one works best for your Pug.

#5 Don’t Forget To Reward Your Pug

Getting their teeth clean is not natural for dogs. Your job is to make turn this unnatural process into a fun, positive experience. The easiest way to do this is to praise your dog throughout the entire process. You can also give your Pug a treat after each step.

This may seem counterintuitive because they’re getting their teeth dirty, while you’re trying to clean it. However, the goal is to teach your dog a new habit and once they become used to getting their teeth cleaned, you can remove the treats during the process and only give them one after the cleaning.

Teeth-Brushing Alternatives

Pug chewing on toy
Letting your dog chew on toys and bones can help reduce tartar build-up.

Maybe you’ve tried brushing your Pug’s teeth, but they just don’t like it. Relax, there’s still a way to keep their teeth clean without using a toothbrush. For example, you can give them some dental chews to chew that will help remove some of that tartar build-up.

You could also spritz some Pets Are Kids Too Dental Spray & Water Additive. It contains natural ingredients with antiseptic properties to help eliminate bad breath, bacteria, and tartar build-up.

Don’t forget to invest in some chew toys as they are great at helping keep your dog’s teeth clean. Kong toys are great for this, just know that your dog will get it really with saliva!

Best of all, your dog won’t mind having their teeth cleaned as long as you’re not using a toothbrush.

Warning Signs of Dental Issues

Unfortunately, their are no visible signs of it, which is why gum disease is often called the “silent killer.” When you do start noticing an infection, redness, or swelling, it means that disease is well advanced.

That being said, here are some signs of severe gum disease:

  • Chewing on one side of the mouth.
  • Bleeding or red gums.
  • Difficulty picking up food.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Bloody saliva.
  • Blood on toys or in the water bowl.
  • Not wanting their heat touched due to sensitivity.
  • Bad breath (halitosis)

If your pooch is displaying any of the symptoms above or you believe they have tooth problems, you’ll want to take them to the veterinarian immediately.

Prevention Is The Key

how to keep your Pugs teeth clean
Regular brushing can help improve your Pug’s overall health.

Most owners don’t think twice about their dog’s dental health until it’s too late. The easiest way to prevent expensive dental issues to take preventive measures. The main thing you want to do is do a weekly check of your dog’s gums and teeth, to see if you notice any issues such as tartar build-up, bad breath, or red gums. These are all signs of dental disease.

The first tell-tale sign of dental problems is bad breath. It’s normal for a dog to have bad breath, but if you notice a really offensive odor, you’ll want to take your Pug to the vet for a dental checkup.

Other issues that can plague your pooch are:

  • Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums due to the buildup of plaque, tartar, and bacteria.
  • Swollen Gums: This can be as something as simple as a piece of food or particle stuck in your dog’s teeth. It can lead to more problems if it is not removed.
  • Mouth Tumors: Abnormal growths that will require medical attention and possibly surgery.
  • Periodontal Disease: An infection that starts with the teeth and spreads to the gums and other internal organs.

The 3D’s of Dental Hygiene

To keep your Pug’s pearly white and healthy, you want to implement the 3D’s of dental cleaning.

1. Daily Brushing

The best way to prevent tooth problems is to get into the habit of brushing their teeth on a daily basis, just like you do with yours. Remember to start with the back teeth first and keep away from the front teeth (incisors) until your dog is comfortable with the process.

If you move too fast with the training process, your dog will learn to hate the process and you’ll have a harder time trying to get them to let you brush their teeth.

2. Dental Checks

Daily brushing combined with routine professional cleanings will help catch any abnormalities early. The sooner your dog gets treatment for a cavity or abscess tooth can prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of their body.

3. Diet

Feed your dog with a diet such as Eukanuba (excluding puppy formulas) as they contain a special tooth-cleaning mineral that is known to reduce tartar buildup by an average of 46%.

High-quality crunchy kibble can help remove some plaque near the top of your dog’s teeth. Some low-quality dog food can increase tartar and plaque levels.

Final Word On Pug Teeth Cleaning

Your Pug’s dental hygiene should not be taken lightly. Brushing their teeth 2-3 times can reduce the risk of periodontal disease and protect their vital organs.

Cleaning your Pug’s pearly whites may increase their life span by one to three years!

References And Further Reading

Pets WebMD – Tips For Brushing A Dog’s Teeth

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