How To Brush A Dog’s Teeth?


Oral care is as important for dogs as it is for humans. Good dental care doesn’t end with brushing. Certain chews and treats can also help you fight plaque buildup. And don’t forget to schedule regular professional dental cleanings. Talk with your vet about how often is right for your dog.

Let’s talk about it in more detail.

Step One: Find the Right Time

Brush your dog’s teeth when she’s calm and relaxed. Your goal: Set a routine.

Step Two: Gather Your Tools

You’ll want to use a toothbrush made for dogs. The bristles are softer and specially angled. Finger brushes can work well for dogs under 30 pounds. For larger dogs, longer handles can give you better reach. Never use human toothpaste; it contains ingredients that may hurt your dog’s stomach.

Step Three: Assume the Position

Make sure you’re in a spot where your dog is comfortable. Don’t stand above your dog, hold her down, or take a threatening stance.

Step Four: Get It Gums Ready

Test your dog’s willingness to have you touch her mouth by rubbing your finger along her upper gums and teeth. Use light pressure.

Step Five: Test the Toothpaste

Put some dog toothpaste on your fingertip. Let your dog lick the toothpaste from your fingertip so that she can get used to the texture and taste.

Step Six: Use a Circular Motion

Brush in small circles, getting top and bottom on each side. As you move the bristles along the gum line, some light bleeding may occur.

Step Seven: Focus on the Plaque

Brush a few teeth at a time, working up to more each day. Aim for two minutes in total. If your dog resists at first, try starting on the outsides of the canine and back teeth, where plaque tends to collect.

Step Eight: Be Reassuring

Keep the mood light while you’re brushing your dog’s teeth.

Step Nine: End on a Positive Note

When you’re finished brushing your dog’s teeth, reward her with her favorite treat or extra attention. Always stop when everyone’s still having fun.

How often do I brush my dog’s teeth?

Veterinarians do not give a clear answer to this question — it all depends on the individual characteristics of your pet. Everyone agrees on one thing: regularity is important here. Dogs of small breeds are more prone to problems with their teeth, so you need to pay special attention to their oral care.

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