Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Toothbrushing with Chewy

Chewy thinks anything you put in his mouth is for chewing. After all, his name is Chewy! This can be a little challenging when it's time to brush his teeth, because all he wants to do is gnaw on the toothbrush. My solution? TWO toothbrushes!

First step, put some toothpaste on each toothbrush:

I think the major reason why Chewy tolerates toothbrushing every night is because he thinks his toothpaste is yummy. Dog toothpaste is available in a variety of flavors, such as peanut, beef, and even bacon! Chewy has accepted all the flavors that we've tried so far, but Sentry Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste in Poultry Flavor seems to be his favorite. He is definitely more happy about the whole ordeal when we use poultry flavor. I like that it reduces tarter and plaque more effectively than the other ones we've tried, and each new tube has the same, smooth consistency. With other brands we've used, I've gotten some tubes that were great and some that were either really thick or really soupy.

Once I've got toothpaste on my two toothbrushes, Chewy is already alert and sniffing. I prefer to have him lie down on his side when I brush his teeth- he wiggles less and isn't ready to run away. It's also easier for me to view his teeth. His command for this is "flop!" Naturally, it gets reinforced with bellyrubs.

I then take one of two approaches:

1) A toothbrush on each side:
  • Can be faster. If Chewy cooperates, both sides get brushed at the same time!
  • If Chewy chews on one side, I can still brush the other side

2) Both toothbrushes on one side:
  • One toothbrush props his mouth open while also acting as a chewing decoy
  • I can see his teeth and problem spots and therefore brush more effectively

Sometimes Chewy likes to prop his paw on a toothbrush or my hand. He likes to think he's in control of the chew thing.

If I let go of a toothbrush, sometimes he'll just lie there chewing on it:

Other times, he'll run away with it and hide under the dining table. This often turns into a game of chase, as he tries to find a spot where he can chew his toothbrush in peace. That's when I lure him with the other toothbrush, and possibly more toothpaste.

Neener neener, can't catch me!


  1. Chewy is so cute! I'm glad you figured out a way to get his teeth brushed! He's too funny! :D

  2. Wow, our first 2 handed brushing! Well done! Poultry is our favorite too!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  3. The two brush technique is very creative! Raven just had her teeth cleaned and I wish she's let me brush them but I haven't had much luck so far.