Brushing your dog’s teeth helps to prevent bad breath and also helps your teacup Chihuahua hang onto his teeth longer, since brushing prevents gum disease, too. It may take some patience at first, but once your little guy is used to brushing, he’ll let you do it without a fight.
Touch your dog’s muzzle and teeth whenever you get the chance, but keep the encounters brief. It works best if you pick times when he’s relaxed and sitting by your side, when you can just reach down and gently rub his muzzle. If he’ll let you, slip your finger gently into his mouth and touch his teeth so he gets used to the feeling and doesn’t associate it with anything negative. Spend a week or two just doing this and getting him used to the idea of having his mouth touched.
Put a dab of doggy toothpaste on your finger and touch it to his teeth. It’s OK to rub it around a bit, but don’t make a big deal about it. Repeat this a couple of times a day until your dog gets used to this new adventure and looks forward to the flavor treat.
Squirt a small bit of your dog’s toothpaste onto a canine toothbrush. If even a tiny brush seems too big for your teacup Chihuahua, use the type of brush that slips over the end of your finger or simply wrap a strip of rag around your fingertip and use that instead of a brush.
Slip the brush or your finger into your dog’s mouth and rub his teeth in a circular motion. It is easiest if you can get him to lie on his side while you brush, but if he wants to sit up and is willing to hold still, that’s OK, too. Work from back to front on both sides of his mouth, making sure to get both the upper and lower teeth as you go. Let him go get a drink once you’re done.
- The younger your Chihuahua is when you start handling his mouth and brushing his teeth, the easier it will be to get him used to it.
- Never use human toothpaste on your Chihuahua, or on any dog, since the ingredients may upset his stomach. Besides, dog toothpaste has flavors such as beef and chicken, which he’ll likely appreciate more than mint or bubblegum.
- If your dog has terrible breath, see if brushing his teeth helps. If not, he may need a professional cleaning at the vet’s to get him off to a good start. Bad breath can also be a sign of health problems, such as diabetes, digestive problems or liver or kidney disease. If brushing doesn’t help your dog’s breath, take him to the vet and have him checked out.