Love is in the air this Valentines Day, but so is bad breath. So pups if you are thinking about puckering up at the kissing booth, think again, it time to press the pause button for a second. Don’t forget to pop in a bark-mint and brush those pearly whites. Canines beware of the bad breath police hounds on patrol, you don’t want to get an embarrassing citation for poor dental hygiene.

Make sure your breath is oh so fresh and clean by brushing 2-3′x per week. Not only will this be a good hit with the ladies & gentlemen but your over health will be improved as well. Here are some tips to make teeth brushing a breeze. The first step of course is to purchase doggy specific toothpaste (comes in many dog-licious flavors) and a toothbrush at your local pet store.

1. Start  with small puppy steps by placing a small amount of toothpaste on your finger and allowing your dog to lick it off. This is the part your dog will love.

2. Next, apply another small dab of toothpaste to your finger. Sit beside your dog or straddle him from behind. Cup the top of his muzzle in your hand and gently pull back on the lips. Making sure you praise his or her good behavior.

3. Place your finger on the surface of one of your dog’s front teeth and gum. Massage gently in a circular motion. Your dog will probably be licking at your finger as you do this but that’s okay; he’s getting used to having his tooth & gums massaged.

4. Introduce him to the toothbrush. Allow him to sniff or lick at the brush (sorry pups this is not a chew toy). Place some toothpaste on the brush and allow him to lick it off. Be patient and take as much time as your dog needs to become familiar with the brush.

5. Position the brush against his tooth (whichever tooth is easier to reach and he is most comfortable with) and move it gently in a circular motion.

6. Repeat the above steps for several days, until your dog is completely comfortable with the ritual.

7. Wet the toothbrush and apply a small amount of toothpaste to it. Sit beside or straddle your dog and gently pull back the lips. Begin by brushing the outside tooth surfaces (closest to the lip) of the fangs. Brush gently, in a circular motion, concentrating on the gum line. Spend at least five seconds on each tooth.

8. Move on to the first large teeth in the back of the mouth on each side. Brush gently, in a circular motion, as you did with the fangs. Once your dog and you are comfortable with brushing the fangs and back teeth, you can expand your efforts to include the outer surfaces of the other teeth.

9. Reward your dog with a bully stick, chew or treat!

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