Tips for Brushing Pet Teeth

Janet BreyComment
             Image courtesy of Maggie Smith at

         Image courtesy of Maggie Smith at

After a big dental bill from my vet for my dog’s teeth cleaning and extractions, I now vow to be more diligent to brushing my dogs’ teeth.  Luckily, both my black lab and mixed breed dogs allow me to stick a tooth brush into their mouth to brush their teeth.  So, I have no excuse not to do this on a regular basis.

Over the years I have learned a bit about how often to brush a pet's teeth, how to brush and what tool is best to use for brushing. Based on experiences, this is what I have found to work best:

  • Use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs or cats. 
  • Wash the toothbrush after each use. 
    • If the bristles get stiff, I soften them with warm water before I begin.
  • Announce it is time for teeth brushing. My dogs start licking their mouths. 
    • They know they will get a treat after their teeth are brushed.  
  • Rest the side of the dog's head on your thigh and pull the gums up on the opposite side.
  • Brush the outside of the top and bottom teeth with a circular motion – focus on the top back teeth.
  • Re-paste the toothbrush and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Finish with a quick brush on the front teeth.
  • A thin slice of a fresh carrot is well received as at treat.
    • I feel that the raw carrot also adds to gum health.
               Fresh organic carrot slices make a great dog treat - low in calories, tasty and good for their gums.

               Fresh organic carrot slices make a great dog treat - low in calories, tasty and good for their gums.

I try to brush my pet's teeth daily. When I just cannot get to it my vet suggested a chew specially designed for helping with dental hygiene - Virbac CET® VeggieDent® Chews. My lab gobbles one down in a few minutes whereas my mixed breed chews it slowly and then gags.  So I had to look for something else.

The Best Dental Hygiene Chews

The Veterinary Oral Health Council publishes a list of food and chews that meet or exceed the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s effectiveness standards for retarding the accumulation of dental plaque and/or tartar.  Greenies are on the list which surprised me. 

Years ago, I stopped using Greenies as I read that some dogs had choked on them. However,  I was told (by my vet) that they have been reformulated and are now a good choice.  I also recommend pet owners look at the county of origin as I lost a cat that ate toxic cat food made in China. 

What I have learned:

  • Dogs and cats need help with their teeth. Help them!
  • Good dental hygiene pays off with fewer vet bills and a healthier pets.
  • If your pet has bad breath, do something about it!
  • Your pet needs basic hygiene just like a human  – hair brushing, tooth brushing, nail clipping and a clean place to sleep. Healthy pets are happy pets.

Good luck with your pet's teeth. Please share any tips.

Does a Dog or Cat Really Need a Bed?

Janet BreyComment

Think about how much we “humans” value our beds and how much time we spend selecting the “right” bed. Can’t be too soft, too hard, but has to be just right. What about our furry companions? Is there a need to provide them with a bed of their own?

Benefits of a Pet Bed

A pet bed provides more than just a place to sleep for your dog or cat.  There are many good reasons to have a pet bed available to your pet. Here are a few:

-        A pet bed gives a pet their own private space

-        A pet bed offers a quiet, safe place to relax

-        A pet bed can be a barrier against cold, hard floors and offer cushioning for the joints

-        A pet bed reduces the hair and dander on your furniture


  This dog seems to have outgrown his bed or should he go on a diet? 

  This dog seems to have outgrown his bed or should he go on a diet? 

What Type of Pet Bed is Best?

When you select a pet bed, you need to think about the style, size and cost.  Make sure that the bed is large enough so your pet can stretch out. If your pet likes to snooze with his or her head on the arm of a sofa, a bolster bed may be a good choice.  Of course, a better quality bed will cost you more than a cedar chip fill bed. Like everything in life, you get what you pay for.

Keep Your Pet Bed Clean

Buying the bed is the easy part, whereas keeping it clean is another story. Pet beds get dirty and can smell pretty bad in no time.  When selecting a pet bed, look for beds that have removable covers or are washable. Note that some “washable” beds are too large for home washers and may require a trip to the laundromat. Another alternative is to purchase a fitted sheet for the bed which can be easily washed and dried.

 This shows the results of a dirt test. A white fitted pet bed sheet was placed on pet bed and in 3 days was dirty and  stained.

 This shows the results of a dirt test. A white fitted pet bed sheet was placed on pet bed and in 3 days was dirty and  stained.


Pets should have a private space to call their own. It can be a pillow, a rug or a pet bed. Place the bed out of heavy traffic areas so your pet can rest in a quiet area.  Recognize that the bed needs to be cleaned regularly and keep this in mind when you select the bed. 

PawSheets Get Rave Reviews

Janet Brey1 Comment
When I put the PawSheet on my dog’s bed, she sniffed it, stepped onto it, sniffed some more then immediately snuggled up into it and fell asleep. That was the ultimate test for me. Was concerned she wouldn’t like a fabric she wasn’t used to. But she loves it. Plus it washes beautifully. Great idea!
— R. Monaco, NY
Eva on PawSheet

PawSheets has been getting great feedback. Before we launched, we did a market test to make sure that we got it right. We will continue to improve and expand the line of products. Please share your stories and photos with us..