How to Brush Dog Teeth

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
Learn how to brush dog teeth

We know it sounds a little strange, but it’s a good idea to get into the habit of brushing your dog’s teeth. “But I give my dog special treats and bones to deal with that,” you may be saying. While there’s nothing wrong with that practice, it’s still not enough. And because they don’t have hands, the task falls to you to get in there with a brush. And we’re going to introduce you to how to brush dog teeth.

If you stop to think about it, brushing your dog’s teeth makes sense. You dog is licking stuff and eating food off the ground all day. And if your dog as tooth issues, a lot of bacteria can make its way through your dog’s gums, making him quite sick. Add to the fact that dogs have, well… dog breath… and that some breeds are prone to dental problems (loose and abscess teeth being the most common problems), it’s smart to get habit of adding teeth brushing to your dog’s grooming regimen.

So What Will I Need?

If you’re looking to find out how to brush dog teeth, there are a few basic supplies you’ll need to stock up on. You’ll need dog toothpaste, and either a toothbrush, a nubby-surfaced rubber cap, a wash cloth or a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. Personally, I use a toothbrush that fits on my finger, as it allows me to really get at my dog’s teeth. And it’s important that you only use dog toothpaste – toothpaste that’s made for us human is not meant to be swallowed, and since dog’s can’t spit, they will have to swallow it, which can make them sick. Plus, dog toothpaste comes in a variety of yummy flavors, such as peanut butter, chicken and bacon –and your dog will love this special treat!

What Do I Do?

When it comes to how to brush dog teeth, it should be comfortable for both you and your dog. To start off, lift your upper lips to get at the top set of teeth. Just like you would yours, brush your pooch’s teeth in a circular motion – right where the tooth meets the gum-line. And you dog’s teeth go all the way back, so get in there and brush those way-back chompers. Repeat these steps with the bottom set of teeth.

Other Pointers

I brush my dog’s teeth every day after I brush and wash his eyes with a face cloth, so it’s become part of our routine and he looks forward to it (thanks bacon-flavored toothpaste). Feeding your dog dry dog food or hard dog biscuits every day and giving him a hard toy or bone to chew on will help with proper teeth cleaning maintenance and keep those chompers tough. And remember, if you don’t clean your dog’s teeth, you vet will have to scrape off that nasty tarter build-up. This involves anesthesia, an unhappy pup and an expensive bill. Do yourself and your dog a favor and take care of it yourself on a regular basis.

Now that you know how to brush dog teeth, will you be doing it? If you already do it, is there anything you find helps with the process? Leave us your thoughts and tips in the comments section below.

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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