Puppy teeth may be pristine from day one, but as your puppy gets older his new adult teeth should be brushed daily to keep them plaque and tartar free. If you get your puppy used to the feel of a toothbrush inside his mouth now you won't have any problems brushing his teeth later, when he's older.
Although little puppy teeth may not need cleaning at this stage, adult canine teeth will need a good dental care routine to keep them
sparkling and healthy.
If you help your puppy to get used to the feel of a toothbrush (and your fingers) in his mouth now, while he's still young it will be plain sailing.
If you don't, you're likely to have problems brushing his teeth when he's an adult Cocker.
However, it's not the end of the world if you didn't manage to do this, or you've adopted an adult dog
who's never had his teeth brushed, you can still acclimatize your Cocker to having his teeth brushed, although it may
take a little longer.
When brushing your puppy's teeth for the first time it's probably better to begin using your fingers; don't introduce a toothbrush just yet.
When you believe he's ready, introduce him to his new puppy toothbrush (which should be the softest you can buy).
Place a small amount of toothpaste onto the brush and work it down into the bristles. This will help to stop him from licking the toothpaste off the brush, and increase the chances of the toothpaste actually reaching your dog's teeth!
Let him lick and nibble the toothbrush before putting it into his mouth, so that he can feel the bristles with his teeth and his tongue. Don't brush any teeth at this stage.
At your next session, gently brush two or three puppy teeth for 10 or 20 seconds, then stop and give your pup lots of praise. Don't overdo the praise, or he may become too excited and you'll get nowhere.
If you think he's becoming agitated, don't go any further. Better still if you can anticipate his anxiety and can stop before he becomes anxious. This way he won't learn that if he objects, you'll stop.
Keep his experience as positive as possible. When you've finished, and he's responded well, heap on the praise and give him a small treat.
Your overall aim here is to teach your puppy to associate positive experiences when your fingers or toothbrush are near or inside his mouth.
Over the next few sessions, gradually increase the number of puppy teeth brushed, until your brushing routine follows the steps outlined in 'brushing dogs teeth for best results'.
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