The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

You want me to brush my DOG'S teeth?

Caring for your dog's teeth

Close up - A person holding a green toothbrush with toothpaste on it.

Why should I brush my DOG'S teeth?

Dogs, just like humans, can get cavities. Their teeth should be cleaned at least twice a week. Giving him plenty of hard bones to chew on are other ways to help keep his teeth healthier.

Two common problems dogs with poor dental hygiene have are loose and abscess teeth. Does your dog have bad breath? Studies show that 98% of dogs with bad breath are suffering from periodontal disease, a result of plaque build-up. If left untreated, this can lead to a bacterial infection, which can enter the bloodstream and spread to your dog's kidney, liver, heart and even her brain. Chances are if your dog has very bad breath, there is a problem with his teeth.

Something else that can cause bad breath is an imbalance in the body. My dog Mia the American Bully developed very bad breath. It was awful. The kind of breath that turns worse right after she licks you and the air hits it. It was the worst breath I had ever smelled in a dog. She started eating grass and sticks. I came across a web page that mentioned that a wheat cgrass supplement might help with that so I tried it. Amazingly within two weeks her bad breath was gone and she looked overall healthier. Wheat grass has collagen which has glycine. It helps the gut and balances the body.

Why can't I use human toothpaste on my dog?

There are many wonderful brands and types of toothpaste for humans. Why can't we use them on our dogs? Because dogs do not spit, and human toothpaste is not edible. Your dog will most delabernesefinitely swallow whatever you use to clean his teeth. You can purchase an edible toothpaste, just for dogs, at the pet store. There are many flavors available. Try to find one that your dog likes; your dog will be more likely to let you brush his teeth. A nice beefy brushing will be a tasty treat for your dog. If your dog squirms when you try to brush his teeth you may need a helper to get the job done.

How should I brush my dogs teeth?

Cleaning your dog’s teeth is not as hard as it sounds if you have the right supplies.

On top of a towel, there is toothpaste, toothbrush, nubby-surfaced rubber cap and a wash cloth.

You will need doggie toothpaste, and either a toothbrush, a nubby-surfaced rubber cap, a wash cloth or a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger.

Close up - A green nubby-surfaced rubber cap with brissels.

Close-up of nubby-surfaced rubber cap that fits over your finger

Position yourself and your dog so that you can access the dog’s teeth comfortably. Lift your dog’s upper lips and begin to brush in a circular motion, much like you would brush your own teeth. Be sure to brush where the tooth meets the gum-line. Don't forget to get the very back teeth, since this is where your dog is most likely to develop problems. When you are finished the top, move on to the bottom.

A blonde haired lady is brushing a white with brown Bulldogs teeth. The front left side of a tan with white and black dog that is getting its teethbrushed by a person in a blue shirt.


Check your dog’s teeth every time you groom him.

Brush your dog’s teeth at least two times a week and have your dog’s teeth checked once a year by your veterinarian.

A person in red fingernails holding open the mouth of a large breed dog that has brown, tan and black tarter on his teeth.

If your dog’s teeth have significant tarter build-up, they need to be cleaned. This is usually done with anesthesia. The picture above is a senior extra large breed dog.

A furry, thick-coated, extra large breed dog sitting down while a vet sits next to him, lifts his lip and scrapes his teeth with a tool.

Not all dogs need anesthesia. Some dogs will allow their teeth to be cleaned while they are awake, like this mellow, calm 12 year old Great Pyrenees.

A hand with red fingernails lifting the lip of a white dog exposing his teeth.

After on a senior extra large breed dog

Chewing on a hard toy or bone can scrape away tarter and help prevent periodontal disease and other infections and gum diseases.

Written by Sharon Rose© Dog Breed Info Center® All Rights Reserved