The Ultimate Guide to Canine Dental Care: How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth Like a Pro
How many of you actually brush your dog’s teeth?
Brushing my own teeth is annoying enough as it is… I’m trying to get in the habit of brushing both my dogs’ teeth more often, especially Weston. He unfortunately had to get several teeth pulled out throughout the past years because they were rotting and causing gum disease. Apparently, it’s common for Bulldogs to have bad teeth because of their overbite and overcrowding of teeth.
If you notice your dog has bad breath, red swollen gums, yellow-ish brown tartar along the gum line, or bumps within the mouth, do go see the vet and get it checked out. Your pup could have major infections inside the mouth and even loose teeth.
Dental hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for humans, but it’s something that many pet owners overlook (myself included). Neglecting your dog’s teeth can lead to a variety of health problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and even life-threatening infections.
Taking care of your dog’s teeth at home is simple and straightforward with a few basic supplies and a little patience. This article will walk you through each step of the process, from choosing the necessary tools to brushing your dog’s teeth and providing alternative cleaning methods for those who struggle with toothbrushing. Whether you’re a new pet parent or a seasoned dog owner, this guide will help you ensure that your furry companion’s teeth stay healthy and strong for years to come!
What You’ll Need for A Successful At-Home Dog Teeth Cleaning
Before you start cleaning your dog’s teeth at home, it’s important to gather all the necessary supplies. In this section, we’ll go over the supplies you’ll need, explain why each one is important, and offer some tips for choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your dog.
The toothbrush is the most important tool in your dog’s dental care kit. Look for a toothbrush that’s specifically designed for dogs, as human toothbrushes can be too harsh on their teeth and gums. You can choose between a traditional toothbrush or a finger brush, depending on your preference and your dog’s comfort level. Make sure the toothbrush is the right size for your dog’s mouth and teeth.
Here are some of the most popular toothbrushes for dogs:
Radius Pet Organic Oral Care Kit
Have you seen the RADIUS toothbrushes for humans? They are super wide, aid in massaging the gums and help with gum disease protection. So, RADIUS makes the same toothbrush for dogs and we get to have matching toothbrushes? CUTE.
Radius Toothbrushes for humans
More dog toothbrushes…
The Prymal Pets Bamboo Toothbrush is an eco-friendly and sustainable option for cleaning your dog’s teeth. Made from high-quality, biodegradable bamboo, this toothbrush is designed to be gentle on your dog’s teeth and gums while effectively removing plaque and tartar. This toothbrush is also lightweight and is dual-ended, making it a great choice for pet parents of all experience levels.
Vet’s Best Toothbrush + Enzymatic Toothpaste
This kit includes a double-headed toothbrush with soft bristles that effectively remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth, as well as an enzymatic toothpaste that’s specifically formulated to fight off harmful bacteria and freshen your dog’s breath. The toothpaste is made with natural ingredients like aloe vera, neem oil and enzymes to ensure that it’s safe and gentle on your dog’s teeth and gums. I read various reviews mentioning this toothpaste helped slough the tartar right off their pup’s teeth!
Dog Toothbrush 10,000 Soft Bristles
Oh Rigby Toothbrush is possibly the softest dog toothbrush on the market! 10,000 fine bristles make it painless to brush your pet’s pearly whites and keep their gums from bleeding. The ultra-soft bristles gently brush away build-up, plaque and tartar while keeping your pet’s teeth and gums safe from harsh bristles and bleeding.
Oxyfresh Premium Pet Dental Kit
If you prefer the finger brushes for brushing your dog’s teeth, the Oxyfresh Premium Pet Dental Kit is a complete dental care system for your furry friend. The kit includes a toothpaste, a bottle of water additive and 3 finger brushes and is safe for all pets and does not contain any harmful chemicals or additives. It has rave reviews and I have been adding this to Weston + Fira’s routine, especially the water additive.
Made with food-grade silicone, non-toxic and allows for easy cleaning of the entire mouth with just a few swipes!
Petsmile Toothpaste Applicator Swabs
If your dog just refuses to accept any type of brush in his mouth or is very sensitive, try Petsmile Applicator Swabs. Just gently spread the toothpaste onto your pet’s teeth and molars in seconds! The swabs are reusable — just rinse and dry.
If your dog refuses toothbrush and/or toothpaste, try a chew toy! These toys are specifically created with bristles to clean their teeth as they are chewing and playing. You can even add toothpaste within the rows of bristles.
Which toothpaste for my dog?
Dog toothpaste is specially formulated to be safe for dogs to swallow and come in a variety of flavors that appeal to dogs. Do not use human toothpaste, as it can be harmful to your dog. Look for a toothpaste that contains enzymes that help break down plaque and tartar. Many people even use coconut oil as a substitute for toothpaste for their dogs (which, by the way, is amazing for our teeth as well! See: coconut pulling)
The paste in the Radius Oral Care Kit is all organic and made with sweet potatoes and cinnamon and actually smells really nice! I also like the toothpaste that comes in the Oxyfresh Premium Pet Dental Kit — it’s unscented! Make sure to try out different flavors of toothpaste to find one that your dog likes.
Bestselling Pet Toothpaste
Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
Arm & Hammer for Pets Dental Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs
Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste
Time to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
1.) Introduce the toothbrush: Before you start brushing your dog’s teeth, let them sniff and taste the toothbrush and toothpaste. This will help them get used to the new sensations and flavors.
If this is the first time you’re brushing your pups’ teeth then make it fun for them. Give them exercise first so they are relaxed through this process. Start brushing their teeth as a puppy so they get used to it early on.
2.) Never use human toothpaste: it’s poisonous to dogs! So grab some dog toothpaste and give your pup a sample to introduce them to it.
3.) Lift the lip to expose the gums and teeth of your dog and gently brush their teeth how you would your own. Use a forty-five degree angle. Talk to your dog through this to assure them that there’s nothing to worry about. Make sure to get the back upper teeth as they usually build up tartar. Gradually work your way back to the molars. Be sure to brush both the inside and outside of each tooth.
If your dog is not used to the brushing then start doing only a couple teeth til they are fully comfortable with it.
4.) Give your pup some love by petting them or giving them their favorite toy to make them love getting their teeth brushed. Try getting synthetic bones with bristles which are great for your pups teeth and gums. Bones are great for pups so they get strengthen the gums and teeth and even get rid of build up plaque. Even getting pets the right type of toy is one effective way to help combat dental problems.
Remember to be patient. Your dog may resist at first, but it’s important to be patient and persistent. Try to make the experience as positive as possible by offering treats and praise throughout the process.
Why is Dog Dental Care Important?
Dental hygiene is essential for your dog’s overall health and well-being. Neglecting their teeth can lead to serious health issues, like periodontal disease, bacterial infections, and teeth extractions (which are also expensive!). It’s important to start a dental care routine for your dog at home and maintain it consistently.
Brushing your dog’s teeth is a simple and effective way to keep their teeth clean, but it’s not the only option. There are also dental treats, chews, and water additives that can aid in maintaining oral health. If you’re having difficulty getting started or your dog has sensitive teeth, don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian for some advice. Remember, taking care of your dog’s teeth can help extend their lifespan and save you from expensive dental treatments in the future. So don’t wait until it’s too late, start prioritizing your fur baby’s dental health as soon as possible. 🙂
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i struggle with brushing Georgie’s teeth everynight, he’s got some big, flappy lips! My favorite toothbrush is the 3 prong one where the brushing wraps around the tooth! (https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Toothbrush-Three-Sided-Dogs/dp/B003R0Y08S)
Nikki Star says
OMG what a cool brush I might need to get this!
Farley Jones says
I’ve never brushed Farley’s teeth. I used some of the arm and hammer water bowl additive with my last bulldog.
Do you have an opinion about any of the water bowl additives that claim to clean tartar?
I luckily don’t need to brush my dogs teeth as due to his breed and feeding a daily bone (i vary the bones to change the teeth he targets!) but if i ever do i am glad i have this as a reference. and if anyone asks i will surely point them this way!