How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Proper dental hygiene is critical to your dog’s overall health and well-being, yet it's often overlooked or forgotten. It’s just as important as grooming them with professional pet grooming supplies.

Brushing your canine companion's chompers can help to stave off dental problems like cavities, periodontal disease, fetid breath, and other potentially severe oral hygiene issues. 

From the type of brush to how frequently you should clean their teeth – this guide will teach how to brush your dog’s teeth at home.

How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Why Brush Your Dog's Teeth?

Caring for your pup's chompers is critical to their general health and well-being. 

Brushing your pup's chompers is not only a great way to keep their breath fresh, but it can also reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Left unchecked, plaque and tartar can lead to various dental conditions, like gum issues, dental decay, and tooth loss. 

Regular brushing can also help reduce the risk of infection in your pet’s mouth.

Benefits of Brushing Your Dog's Teeth

 Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth has many benefits for both you and your pet. 

  • Removes food particles stuck between their teeth which can cause bacteria to build up, leading to periodontal disease. 
  • Strengthens tooth enamel to protect against cavities and tooth decay. 
  • Keeps breath smelling fresher for longer periods.
  • Without proper oral hygiene care, your dog can develop a host of dental issues not unlike those humans encounter.

    How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth

    Knowing how to properly brush dogs’ teeth is crucial in ensuring good oral health. Not only are their jaws and teeth different from ours, but it’s also not easy to explain what you’re doing to them.

    Get the Right Oral Care Supplies

    For brushing your pup's chompers, you'll need a toothbrush specifically designed for canines – with softer bristles than those used on humans. You can also use the finger brushes or wrap your finger with gauze when brushing your dog’s teeth.

    Make sure you purchase canine toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. 

    Take It Slow

    Let your dog sniff the toothbrush and lick some toothpaste off your finger, so they get used to it. 

    Start slowly at first by just touching each side of their mouth with the brush. Do not press too firmly when brushing to avert any pain or harm.

    Gradually work up towards full strokes over all surfaces of each individual tooth until you thoroughly clean each one. Pay special attention near the gum lines and between the molars. 

    Rinse any remaining paste residue with water if necessary and reward them again for a job well done.

    Tips for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

    Brushing your dog’s teeth sounds simple when you put it on paper, but it can be a different experience in real life. Thankfully, a few tips and tricks can make life easier.

  • Start young: Introducing puppies early on helps get them used to having their mouths handled, making things much more manageable. 
  • Break it up into smaller sessions: Don’t try brushing the entire mouth simultaneously.  Try shorter sessions spread throughout the day. 
  • Use positive reinforcement: Buy your pup’s favorite treat as a reward for good behavior during brushing sessions.  
  • Be patient and consistent: Consistency is vital when teaching new behaviors, so stay patient while reinforcing desired actions through repetition.
  • Brushing your pup's chompers is essential to keeping them in tip-top shape, so establishing a regular routine for it should be prioritized. 

    What Products Are Available for Cleaning Your Dog's Teeth?

    You can shop around for teeth cleaning products just like you can with online pet toys.

    Dog-Friendly Toothbrushes

    You can choose between three main doggie toothbrush styles. 

    Finger brushes slip over a fingertip and have bristles you can rub over the teeth.

    Dual-headed brushes feature soft bristles on one side and rubber tips on the other. 

    Traditional long-handled toothbrushes look much like a human version, but they have angled heads to easily reach all areas of the mouth.

    Types of Toothpaste 

    Dog-specific toothpaste comes in canine-centric flavors to make brushing more enjoyable. Choose your dog’s favorite flavors, like beef, poultry, seafood, malt, or vanilla mint. 

    How Often Should You Brush Your Dog's Teeth?

    Regularly brushing your dog's teeth is essential, but what does that look like? 

    The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends brushing your dog’s teeth daily but notes that’s not always possible. 

    Overall, finding out what works best for both you and your pup when it comes to regular tooth-brushing sessions will help ensure that they stay healthy and content.

    What Are Some Other Ways To Keep Your Dog’s Mouth Healthy?

    Aside from learning how to brush your dog’s teeth, you can take other steps to keep their mouth healthier.

    Consider a Dietary Change

    A balanced diet can help keep their teeth and gums healthy, like high-fiber foods and those with natural enzymes. Choose treats specifically designed to clean your dog’s teeth while they chew on them.

    Invest in Chew Toys 

    Rubber and nylon chew toys made of rubber, or nylon can help remove plaque buildup from your dog's mouth when they gnaw on them. Look for toys with ridges or nubs that will provide an extra scrubbing action against the surface of the teeth. 

    Make sure you examine the toy frequently to ensure it remains undamaged and has not been excessively chewed, avoiding potential choking risks.

    Have an Annual Check-Up

    Dogs need dental checks as well. Ensure you have your vet or a veterinary dentist examine your dog’s mouth at least once a year. 

    FAQs About How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth

    It's never too late to begin cleaning your pup's chompers. Regular brushing helps prevent plaque buildup and can help keep their breath fresh.

    Yes, you need to know how to brush your dog’s teeth and do so regularly. It’s best to make it a daily habit, but it should occur at least a few times weekly.

    Aside from brushing, it helps to give your dog chew toys to assist in removing that buildup on and around the teeth.

    No, dogs do not need toothpaste to brush their teeth. Brushing with plain water is sufficient for removing plaque and bacteria from the surface of the teeth. However, using canine-specific toothpaste is more effective.


    Knowing how to brush your dog’s teeth is integral to being a pet parent. You want to keep their mouth healthy, so they don’t develop painful conditions or lose their teeth. 

    If you need something special to keep your pup happy and healthy, check out the selection at Muffin & James Doggy Bag Treat, your one-stop shop!

    Always remember at clean eating is the best kind of dog treating.

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