View Full Version : My girl HATES getting her teeth cleaned. What can I do??

Ginger's Mom
22nd March 2007, 04:47 PM
Ginger absolutely hates getting her teeth cleaned. I don't know what is the best way to fix this problem.

She was really good at it before. She used to just lay there and let me do my thing (even falling asleep as I brushed her teeth) -- that is until I slacked off on cleaning her teeth. :sl*p: I have absolutely no excuse as to why I slacked off... but now I'm trying to make it up to her.

She no longer wants to be groomed... Like a defiant teenager... The moment I bring out a toothbrush she goes nuts. I try giving treats to her but that has not worked so well. Last night I got so frustrated that I almost yelled at her which I never never want to do... If I try to make her do things out of my frustration it will only go downhill...

Any advice you can give me... I'd really appreciate it... icon_whistling

22nd March 2007, 04:54 PM
There are a couple of different products that are toothwipes, where you wrap your finger and rub her teeth, rather than getting out that toothbrush which she is now resisting. Perhaps if you clean her teeth with some kind of a wipe system for a while you'll be able to go back to the toothbrush eventually, if you think that would do a better job.

Joanne M
22nd March 2007, 05:07 PM
Hi Ladies. This is a useful thread for me too. I only began brushing Tuckers teeth a few months ago. Before that I thought his diet of mainly kibble and giving him dental bones would keep his teeth clean. When I finally accepted this practice would not be enough, I went to the vet to get a dental care kit. I've met with little success when it comes to brushing his teeth. I'm currently using an over my finger type brush. He loves the toothpaste, he lets me put it in his mouth. Although I do not fear him biting me at all, I am not confident about brushing his teeth on my own, I find it difficult holding his mouth open and brushing at the same time. I suspect that has a great deal to do with my lack of success, my lack of confidence translating itself to Tucker. I need another hand!

Pat, if you use dental wipes, what kind do you use? I'll purchase some of those, and does anyone use the finger brushes? I will also purchase a regular style brush to see if I do any better with that.

Tucker does not like being groomed in general. When I wash his face and clean under his eyes, he reminds me of a squirming little toddler who hates getting their face washed. He squirms while I brush and comb him too, though not as vigorously and he has gotten better about this. However, I still have to do a bit of chasing him when it's combing time. He is sees a groomer every six weeks and the first thing he does after he's groomed is mash himself on every surface in my house until his hair is standing on end. He seems to prefer the grubby look!

22nd March 2007, 05:48 PM
i use my 5 yr old ,old tooth brush they are very small and you could put a little bit of chicken into the brushes then put it into her mouth just try the mouth before you scrubb then do this a little each day alfie doesnt mind it know it took me about 2 months.

22nd March 2007, 05:57 PM
I've found the more I do it, the better they all are (Lily actually gets excited when she sees the toothbrush, loves brushing, and also tries to stick her face in when I am brushing the other dogs... because of course it is FOOD as far as she is concerned... :roll:).

I started with a finger brush but found they liked the longer brush better. I think the wipes might be more efficient and effective. Initially I hardlky brushed; they just got a bit of toothpaste rubbed around. Now I've worked up to doing the back teeth fairly well.

Here are some sites tthat suggest ways of approaching this:


Joanne M
22nd March 2007, 06:06 PM
Thanks for the links/info.

I just finished, brushing and combing Tucker, including cleaning his ears. I gave him toothpaste as a treat throughout the process so that I could get everything done at once. He looked so handsome for about 30 seconds, until he mashed himself into the comforter from one end of the bed to another. Oh well, at least I know his ears are clean, his breath is fresh and he has no mats, otherwise, his hair is back to it's old, every which way but down style... Tucker is the only cavalier I've seen pictured with hair in his eyes.

22nd March 2007, 06:54 PM
Joanne, if you want to give these a try...I picked up a dispenser package of Petkin ToothWipes at PetCo...they've got baking soda in the formula. Mine don't mind them a bit, though I do brush their teeth with a toothbrush also. They love toothpaste. The toothwipes are nice because they are easier to use in an impromptu way--e.g., you want to do it in between full grooming sessions. I am known for sneaking up on a unsuspecting snoozinging dog and roll him/her over on one side and gently start going over their teeth with a wrapped finger. :lol:

And, hey, Tucker's just got his own idea of what the perfect Cavalier should look like! So do mine. The first thing to do after a bath and brush is roll around frantically putting things back the way they were!

Joanne M
22nd March 2007, 07:25 PM
Thanks Pat. I may get up there this weekend, otherwise I'll order something from Drs Foster and Smith. I am in need of more kibble and that is where I purchase from.

Figures I get the cavalier with the high maintenance hair my own is the same way!

22nd March 2007, 09:07 PM
When we adopted our 2 yeard old Sonny, he'd never had his teeth cleaned. I started off with a finger-stall type cleaner & some yummy doggie toothpaste, and I just kind of lifted one side of his lips & gave a few strokes, then left him to lick off the rest of the paste. Next day, I repeated this, but did several parts of his teeth (again just quickly). Once he seemed to understand that this was now going to be part of his daily routine, I started to get more serious about the cleaning process, and he is really fine with it.

With Beau, the puppy, I just put some past on the finger-brush & let him chew on it & lick it off. Soon, I will start the actual cleaning of his teeth, but just for the moment I'm conditioning him to think of having his teeth cleaned as a fun & rewarding thing.

Oh yes, and lots of praise & some treats when we are done.

Joanne M
22nd March 2007, 09:31 PM
Thanks Caraline. Based on all the helpful comments I was expecting too much that Tucker would sit through all his teeth being cleaned at once. I won't give up and I'll be patient and accept that this will be a gradual process. Said the menopausal woman :)