Easy Games For Introducing A Toothbrush To Your Dog

fearful dogs Feb 20, 2023

Good dental health is so important to your dog's overall health. And brushing their teeth regularly is the best way to maintain your dog's teeth and gums. But how can you get your sensitive dog to participate in toothbrushing? 

In the video below, I show you three simple games to play with your dog, to introduce a toothbrush to them in a positive way.

If after playing these toothbrush games, you're ready to learn how to brush your pup's teeth, check out our self-paced toothbrushing course, Healthy Smiles.


 Toothbrush Game #1: Boop The Brush

This game involves rewarding your dog for approaching and touching the toothbrush with their nose. Check out the video for a demo. If this is too difficult for them, go back to this earlier blog on building a "touch" behavior with objects held in your hand. 


Toothbrush Game #2: Lick Goo Off Of The Toothbrush

This is just what it sounds like. Coat the toothbrush with something your dog will like- I used meat-based baby food. Then let them lick the toothbrush while you hold it. 


Toothbrush Game #3: Lick The Toothbrush While It's Moving Around 

In this game you introduce some movement of the toothbrush near and sometimes inside your dog's mouth. Don't push the brush into your dog's mouth yet!  But if your dog puts their mouth around the toothbrush, you'll have the opportunity to move the brush around just a little there. 

You're not actually doing any toothbrushing in this step. Review the end of the video to see the kind of toothbrush movements you might try. 


Now What?

If your dog is happily approaching the toothbrush and engaging with it while you move it around, you're ready to start training actual toothbrushing. Check out our self-paced toothbrushing course, Healthy Smiles, which will walk you through the process. 

If you try any of the training games in this blog, we'd love to hear from you! You can comment below this blog, shoot us an email ([email protected]), or message us on Facebook or Instagram.