How to Care for Your Dog’s Teeth

It’s a great idea to have your dog’s teeth examined regularly by your vet, who’ll give them a professional dental clean if necessary. Regular home care can help avoid problems to start with.

Dental may include:

  • Tooth brushing (3 or more times a week). There are many products available such as doggy toothbrushes and beef flavoured toothpaste to assist you with this and it’s the best way to avoid problems with your dog’s teeth
  • Dental exercisers like chewy toys, as well as special diets, can all assist in reducing plaque

How to Teach Your Dog to Tolerate Tooth Brushing

It might seem like a losing battle at first, but with the right attitude and a little affection and gentle persuasion, tooth brushing for your dog will become easier. It’s important to start slowly – this will be a new sensation for your pet and you don’t want them to be scared.


  • Start by handling the mouth very gently, using your finger to rub their gum line. Wrap a piece of wet gauze around your finger, (dip it into the water first) and gently scrub your dog’s teeth along the gumline
  • Progress gradually to using special animal toothpaste, on an animal toothbrush or a soft children’s toothbrush – both will be fine for the job
  • Never use human toothpaste, baking soda or salt, as these can cause problems in older animals
  • When you first start brushing, lift the upper lip on one side to expose the outer surfaces of some teeth. To brush, make gentle circling motions from the gum’s towards the ends of the teeth
  • Keep the initial tooth brushing period short and if your dog starts to object, don’t push it
  • Even if you don’t get very far at first, always reward your dog. Give praise and a treat after each session, so they’ll come to associate tooth brushing with rewards