How to brush a dog's teeth (with pictures)

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How to brush a dog's teeth (with pictures)
How to brush a dog's teeth (with pictures)

Brushing your dog's teeth is an important part of taking care of him. Making sure your dog has fresh breath is one of the reasons you need to brush his teeth regularly. Having clean teeth can also boost the health, happiness, and longevity of your canine friend. Plaque and tartar not only cause bad breath, but can also lead to loss of teeth. Serious dental hygiene problems can also cause painful and even fatal infections. These infections can damage your dog's kidneys, heart, and liver. By brushing your dog's teeth regularly, you will be able to improve his quality of life, but also yours.


Part 1 of 3: prepare to brush your teeth

Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 1
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 1

Step 1. Buy a toothbrush

There is a wide variety of toothbrushes specifically designed for dogs. They are generally sold in pet stores.

  • Dog toothbrushes have soft bristles that make it easier to reach hard-to-reach teeth.
  • Choose a brush according to the size of your dog. You will take a larger model if you have a large dog and vice versa, a smaller toothbrush for a smaller dog so that it can easily fit into his mouth.
  • There are also templates that you can place on your fingertip to be more precise. But these toothbrushes also increase the risk of your dog accidentally biting your finger.
  • Do not use an adult toothbrush on your dog. You can optionally use a child model if needed.
  • If your dog is resistant when you use a normal toothbrush, you can possibly try with a specially designed pad or sponge.
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 2
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 2

Step 2. Buy dog toothpaste

As with toothbrushes, there are toothpastes specially designed for dogs. Never use human toothpaste to brush your pet's teeth.

  • Human toothpaste contains fluoride and sometimes other ingredients that can be toxic. We don't swallow toothpaste when brushing our teeth, but a lot of dogs do. Eating human toothpaste can cause vomiting and possible kidney damage.
  • Toothpaste for dogs comes in several flavors to make brushing teeth easier and more enjoyable for your dog.
  • You can try different tastes to find the one your pet prefers.
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 3
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 3

Step 3. Start at an early age

It is ideal to start brushing your dog's teeth when he is just a puppy. You can start brushing his teeth as soon as he is 8 weeks old.

  • Starting to brush her teeth at a young age will make it easier for her to get used to the feel and act of brushing her teeth.
  • However, this will not have any visible effect on his oral hygiene. Indeed, your dog will not develop its permanent teeth until after 6 to 8 months.
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 4
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 4

Step 4. Pick the right time

When you choose to brush your dog's teeth will have a huge impact on the success of your business. Try to brush his teeth when he is calm and relaxed.

For example, you can brush his teeth after your dog has worked out or played. He will usually be tired and struggle less when you brush his teeth

Part 2 of 3: brush a dog's teeth


Step 1. Get your dog used to having your hand in his mouth

When you start brushing your dog's teeth, take it gradually so that your dog is used to having your hand in his mouth. Frequently touch the area around its mouth and muzzle with your fingers.

It may take time for your dog to get used to your touching him in this area


Step 2. Let your dog taste the toothpaste

You can let it lick some toothpaste off your finger. This will help you determine whether or not he likes the taste of the toothpaste or at least let him get used to it and therefore make things easier when you start brushing his teeth.

After the dog begins to lick the toothpaste, rub your finger along his teeth and gums while lifting his lips. This is when you will switch to using a brush


Step 3. Show him the toothbrush

You must present the toothbrush to him and let him sniff it before putting it in his mouth.

You can also let your dog lick off some toothpaste directly from the brush. Praise him for his behavior so that he can get used to having a toothbrush near his mouth


Step 4. Brush some teeth

With or without toothpaste, try to gently brush the teeth that are easier to reach. The canines are the longest and generally the easiest to access.

  • Gently lift the top lip and place the brush over its teeth. Then lightly brush her teeth from top to bottom.
  • This will allow your dog to get used to this new sensation on his teeth and gums, but also to observe his reaction.
  • Some dogs will be receptive to brushing their teeth, but if your dog is reluctant or aggressive, proceed with caution. Ideally, try brushing his teeth when a friend or family member is around to help calm your dog down.
  • Talk to him in a calm, calming voice so that your dog is as relaxed as possible. If he continues to resist or behaves aggressively, take a break and resume a little later in the day or the next. If his behavior persists, consult a veterinarian or a dog trainer for advice on what to do next.
  • After brushing a few teeth, reward your dog with a little treat and finish brushing his teeth.

Step 5. Brush the outside of his teeth

Once your dog gets used to the taste of toothpaste and the feel of the toothbrush, it's time to combine the two. Place a small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush and slowly and gently brush the same area as in the previous step. Then gradually move the brush along the entire outer surface of its upper and lower teeth.

  • Increase the number of teeth you brush after each session until your dog is comfortable enough that you can brush his entire teeth.
  • Try to brush all the way down her gums. This will allow you to get him used to brushing his teeth without having to try to open his mouth.
  • Don't try to brush her teeth for more than a few minutes. You will need to do this several times so that your dog can get used to this process.
  • While brushing his teeth, talk to your dog using a calm voice to soothe him.

Step 6. Brush the inner surface of his teeth

Once you have brushed the outside of your dog's teeth, you can continue by brushing the inside surface.

  • Put a hand on the top of its muzzle, lift its upper lip and open your dog's mouth. If he resists, exert gentle pressure inward to force him to open his mouth.
  • When you open his mouth, brush a small area of the inner surface of his teeth. As always, proceed gently, starting by brushing only a small area. Continue to brush the rest when your dog gets used to brushing his teeth.
  • Your dog's tongue helps naturally control tartar buildup along interior surfaces. Brushing will remove tartar from this area.
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 11
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 11

Step 7. Make it a routine

The more regularly you brush your dog's teeth, the more accustomed he will be to feeling your hands around and inside his mouth. This will make it much easier for you to brush her teeth.

  • Brushing your dog's teeth daily is ideal. This helps prevent periodontal disease which can cause pain and dangerous infections.
  • If your dog has lost a tooth, appears to be in pain in the area around his mouth, or is bleeding, see a veterinarian before resuming his daily brushing.
  • Start slowly and try to work your way up to daily brushing gradually. If you can't do this every day, try brushing her teeth as regularly as possible.

Part 3 of 3: brush the teeth of an uncooperative dog


Step 1. Use a rag

The use of a toothbrush and toothpaste is ideal. But, if your dog can't tolerate brushing, there are other options. If your dog cannot tolerate the use of the toothbrush, try applying toothpaste with a small piece of rag.

  • You can use an old pair of socks, a worn washcloth, or a piece of gauze that you wrap around your finger.
  • This brushing method will create friction when you apply the toothpaste and will slow the build-up of tartar plaques.
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 13
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 13

Step 2. Use chew toys

Toys can help remove the top layer of tartar and massage your dog's gums. They also help prevent your dog from losing patience or becoming stressed.

  • Give your dog some rawhide, nylon, and rubber toys. Ask your vet to recommend the most suitable toys for your dog.
  • Giving your dog a toy or a bone is recommended in addition to regular brushing of his teeth. It is by no means a long-term substitution.

Step 3. Give her food to clean her teeth

Giving your dog any dried food or treats (rather than canned food) will reduce the appearance of plaque and tartar.

There are also special foods that can help clean your dog's teeth while they are eating, but they are not a substitute for brushing their teeth either

Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 15
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 15

Step 4. Use gel or spray

If your dog can't stand the previous method, try applying a spray or gel regularly. These products contain ingredients that help slow bacterial growth that leads to tartar formation on the teeth.

Consult your veterinarian before using any of these products

Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 16
Brush a Dog's Teeth Step 16

Step 5. Go through a professional

If your dog doesn't agree to you brushing his teeth, take him to the vet and have him brush your dog's teeth for you.

Also discuss your dog's dental health with him during your routine visits


  • If you yell at your dog, he will associate brushing his teeth with a negative event. Be delicate and relaxed.
  • No need to rinse your dog's mouth after brushing his teeth. Many toothpastes for dogs contain enzymes that slow plaque formation and are most effective when left in contact with the teeth for a long time.
  • As with physical activity, you can use small treats and hugs to congratulate him. This will allow you to show him that this is a positive experience and encourage him to be cooperative. Choose hard foods that will work effectively against plaque formation on your teeth.
  • Smaller dogs or those with a short muzzle, such as Shih Tzus and Bulldogs generally need frequent brushing, ideally at least once or even twice a day, as these dogs' teeth are closer to each other. and stuck in a smaller space. This can make it easier to build up plaques and tartar.


  • If you see that your dog needs extra help brushing his teeth, see a veterinarian.
  • If your dog's teeth are not properly maintained, it can have a negative impact on his overall health. Good dental health also equates to a longer, happier life for your best companion.
  • Do not try to overpower or force your dog if he resists brushing. If your dog shows signs of fear or aggression during this process, stop immediately. You may need to consult a behaviorist to remedy this problem.

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