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Brush Your Dog’s Teeth at Home

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth at Home

Brushing your dog’s teeth at home may seem daunting, but it’s a simple task you can master. Here’s what you need and how to do it.

What You Need

Toothpaste and Rinses

Use pet-safe toothpaste or rinses with ingredients like Chlorhexidine, Hexametaphosphate, or zinc Gluconate. These are approved for dogs. Human toothpaste can upset your dog’s stomach.

If your dog has periodontal disease, your vet may recommend a fluoride rinse specifically for animals.


Look for soft-bristled toothbrushes designed for pets. They’re smaller and shaped for easy maneuvering in your dog’s mouth. Finger toothbrushes are also convenient.

Sponges and Pads

Dental sponges and pads are gentle options, especially for beginners. Sponges have a small sponge on a handle for cleaning individual teeth. Pads wipe away debris and tartar buildup.

How to Do It

  1. Introduce the Toothpaste: Let your dog taste the meat-flavored toothpaste. Praise them for licking it so they associate it with something positive. After a few days, apply some to their teeth to get them used to the sensation.
  2. Familiarize with the Brushing Tool: Gently touch the toothbrush, sponge, or pad to your dog’s mouth and teeth. Praise and reward them for allowing it. This may take a few days of positive reinforcement.
  3. Brush a Few Teeth at a Time: Once your dog is comfortable, gently brush a few teeth, lifting their lips to expose the gum line. Focus on removing plaque and tartar, brushing at a 45-degree angle. Only brush the outer surfaces; their tongues clean the insides.

Throughout the process, talk soothingly and praise your dog. Make it a positive experience. Aim to brush their teeth at least weekly, if not daily. Be patient, and they’ll soon enjoy this bonding time.



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