JRTs are full of what seems like endless energy, and sometimes getting them to sit still for long enough to get their teeth brushed can seem impossible. While this is true, brushing is still important to your dogs health and should be attempted. Starting early in your dogs life is the best way to get them used to it!
Treats, Bones, & Food
Giving your JRT a bone to chew on can help to fight off built up plaque and keep their teeth strong. There are also many other types of bones and toys that are specifically made for dental care. These can be found online or at any local pet store. The food you feed your JRT can make a difference as well. Giving them crunchy food rather than soft food is actually better for their teeth, as the soft food is more likely to stick to their teeth. These are great ways to keep your dogs mouth fresh, but they should be combined with regular brushing to ensure a healthy pup!
Chose Toothbrush & Toothpaste
There are toothbrushes that are made specifically for dogs, but using a small children's toothbrush works just as well for a smaller dog like the JRT. Do not give your dog human toothpaste, as there are some chemicals in it that can be poisonous to them. Most local pet stores sell toothpaste that is formulated for dogs and not harmful to them, and also have flavors that they enjoy. Let your dog taste a little of the toothpaste on the end of their toothbrush to get them used to it and ensure they like it.
Timing & Technique
Since JRTs are so energetic, you should wait until after taking them out for a long walk or after lots of playing and exercise so they are worn out. If you are just starting out, don't over-do it! Do one side of your dogs mouth at a time to get them used to it. Wait a few hours between sessions, too. Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to get to the gums as best as possible. Be sure to have plenty of treats handy, and reward them when you finish a section to turn brushing their teeth into a positive experience!
See Your Vet Regularly
Your dog should have their teeth checked during every routine visit to the vet. This should be about every 6-12 months. If you keep up with regular brushing, and your dogs mouth seems healthy, each visit should be relatively easy. However, if your dog has a lot of build-up and doesn't do well with brushing, sometimes anesthesia is given to them so your vet can properly clean their teeth.