Dog Dental Health

Dog Dental Health

Your Dog’s dental health might not be your biggest priority but it is estimated that a majority of dogs will show signs of periodontal disease, a painful oral disease that can lead to tooth loss and infection, by just three years old! One of the first signs of dog dental disease is bad breath which is often missed because owners just assume bad breath is part of having a dog.

Yes your dogs breath might not be beautifully minty but it should never make you gag!

Inadequate oral hygiene can cause some serious health problems for our beloved canines so keeping their dental health in check is super important. Remember all these diseases are easily prevented.

The best way to keep your dog’s dental health going is to brush their teeth, plain and simple. If you can’t do it daily that’s okay, but the more you can do it, the better. Generally around three to four times a week is perfect.

Dog’s are easily trained to have their teeth brushed too. Just make sure you’ve bought Vet approved dog toothpaste! The chemicals in our toothpaste can cause problems for dogs. 

You can use a big dog toothbrush or a fingertip toothbrush. If you aren’t sure which one to use, you can always consult with your veterinarian about the best type for your dog. 

First, you must get your pup used to having your hands near their mouth. A good way to get started is to turn your fingers into a treat. If you put peanut butter on it and let them lick at your finger while you gently rub their teeth and gums, they will be more adept at letting you keep their mouth open wide. 

Gently place one hand under his lower jaw and the other on top. Rest your hands for a second then work towards opening their lips and easing their jaw open. Once your pup is comfortable with these exercises you can move on to the brushing gear. 

Let your dog sniff and lick at the toothpaste and toothbrush before continuing. Gently move their lips apart and brush the visible teeth with the toothbrush. Gradually increase the number of teeth you brush each time. Remember you don’t need to do it all, all at once!

Brush along the gum line and in a circular motion. Don’t worry if you can’t brush the inside of his teeth, with most dog breeds, periodontal disease is more common on the outside of their teeth.  

Other ways to help your dog keep their dental health in check is by using dog tooth wipes. These are made to be rubbed against your dog’s teeth to help remove plaque. They are like toothbrushes but are not able to cover every inch like a toothbrush does. 

Dog’s are unable to brush their teeth alone but fortunately you can have your pup help himself by buying him dental treats and chews as well. They are excellent and helpful tools to keep around. They do a great job at keeping dog’s mouths clean and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors. 

Always keep in mind that a professional cleaning can do wonders as well. It is more expensive than some of these methods, but a professional veterinary dental cleaning is a wonderfully perfect way to maintain your dog’s dental hygiene.

If you follow these methods you and your pup will stay happy and healthy! 



Finlay, Katie. (2016, Nov 2.) 5 tips for keeping your dog’s teeth clean. Retrieved on April 30, 2019 from,

Animal Planet. (2019.) Dental Care for Dogs: Tips and Tricks. Retrieved on April 30,2019 from,


Written By:

Mikayla B.  AZ CARE Rescue Intern (September. 2019)

Photo Credit: 

Anya Potsiadlo

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