- Dog toothbrush or infant toothbrush
- Dog toothpaste
A Yorkshire Terrier’s oral cleanliness is of great importance. His teeth should be brushed at least twice a week. Oral hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. Bad teeth can lead to health problems, some very serious and possibly life threatening.
Before you start, you must get your dog used to having his mouth and especially his teeth touched. A good breeder will have already done this before you purchased your puppy. Add this to your daily grooming ritual and he will soon get used to it. With a command of “let’s see your teeth” or “open up”, gently lift the upper lip, then pull back the lower lip. Be careful not to pull up too far. Inspect the teeth for calculus or tartar build up. Take note of any unusual colours or smells. Dogs breath may not be pleasant but an extremely bad smell or unusual smell can indicate an underlying health problem. These should be addressed to your veterinarian. ALWAYS BE GENTLE WHEN CHECKING YOUR YORKIE’S TEETH. It only takes one uncomfortable or painful inspection or brushing and you will have to struggle to get it done from then on. Yorkies never forget.
You have a choice of either a tooth brush or an applicator which slips onto your finger to apply the paste. Choose a tooth brush size or applicator that is best suited for the size of your dog’s mouth. Your local pet shop will be able to assist you in your selection. You can also purchase an infant size tooth brush which is very soft and a good size for smaller dogs.
Place a small amount of paste on the brush or applicator and moisten with water. Use only toothpaste made especially for dogs. Human toothpaste contains fluoride which is poisonous to dogs. Gently brush the front, back, tops and bottoms of all teeth. Try to use small circular motions. Rinse the teeth and gums well and remove all paste by brushing with water. If you notice any significant tartar build up, try to remove it with your fingernails. Experienced groomers may use a dental scraper but these are sharp and need extra special care to use.
For puppies, you can use a light gauze, available at any pharmacy. Wrap the gauze around your ring finger, it has the lightest touch, put a drop of toothpaste on it and rub the teeth in a gentle circular motion.
there you go … gleaming teeth and fresh breath in a flash.
Always praise your pet for his cooperation and good behaviour.