How do I Brush My Pet’s Teeth?

We all know how important oral health is.  We are bombarded every day with toothy-grinned models for Colgate toothpaste on TV, images of a smiling patient tilted back in a dental chair in the paper, & voicemails letting us know we’re due for our 6-month dental check-up.  If that’s not enough, now you’ve got us discussing the major health benefits of oral care at your veterinary office!

A seemingly daunting task & words spoken at our practice every day…

How do I brush my pet’s teeth?

Here at Hillcrest, we recognize both the importance of oral health care as well as an owner’s struggle to provide this care. Below is a gentle & effective way of introducing tooth brushing to your pet in a way that’s easy to manage for the both of you!

What you will need:

  • Pet toothpaste (made without Fluoride)
  • Gauze squares, cotton swab
  • Finger toothbrush & /or a regular soft bristled toothbrush



Week 1:

  • Around the same time each day for 1 week (so it becomes an enjoyable routine), place a small amount of pet toothpaste on your finger and let your pet lick it off
  • This will help develop a habit where your pet will seek out the tasty treat & attention


Week 2:

  • Place a small amount of pet toothpaste on your finger and gently slide your finger onto & against Fluffy’s gums and outsides of their teeth with a circular motion
  • Start slow & do a little more each time


Week 3:

  • Now, use a cotton swab or wrap a gauze square around an index finger & place a small amount of pet toothpaste on it
  • Rub their gums & the outsides of their teeth with a circular motion for ~ 30 seconds to be effective & keep it pleasant for the pet


**If this is well tolerated by your pet, you may continue to use a cotton swab or gauze square and not go any further**

 Week 4:

  • Place a small amount of pet toothpaste on a finger toothbrush or regular soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush against Fluffy’s gums & the outsides of their teeth for ~30 seconds

Imagine what our teeth would be like if we only brushed once weekly or monthly – SO be sure to repeat this each day to help keep your pet’s mouth not only smelling fresh but healthier!

Be patient and consistent – building a lifetime of habits takes time!

Written by Sarah Tremblay, RVT



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Last updated: June 26, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!



We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Hillcrest Animal Hospital