Skip to Content

Should I brush my dog’s teeth?

I do not brush my dog’s teeth. Does that make me a bad pet owner? I don’t know.

I am borderline obsessive about my dog, but I have never considered brushing his teeth until a few days ago when a friend of mine told me how bad her dog’s teeth had gotten.

I used to brush my old golden retriever’s teeth once a week or so, but I haven’t done the same with Ace. I figure his diet of raw food helps clean the plaque from his teeth. He also chews on various raw bones, and the only time he gets “human food” is if I give him healthy table scraps such as meat or veggies.

Some vets recommend dog owners brush their dogs’ teeth at least twice a week. My friend’s 4-year-old dog has receding gum lines and has to have her teeth cleaned by a vet so the condition won’t worsen. This procedure involves putting the dog under and is not cheap. Like Ace, this dog only eats dry dog food. My friend also does not brush her dog’s teeth, but she probably will now!

As for Ace, I plan on buying him a toothbrush and paste sometime soon. Brushing Ace’s teeth would be a good idea to keep his teeth healthy and to prevent gum disease and future expensive veterinarian bills. You can also try these alternatives to brushing.

If you are worried about your dog’s teeth, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your vet. Signs of trouble are if the dog has worse breath than normal or if she seems to have difficulty or pain while chewing. Make a habit of looking at your dog’s teeth and gums every now and then. Ace still has nice, white teeth. But he is only 2.

A vet can clean your dog’s teeth to prevent future problems. Some groomers will brush your dog’s teeth if you request it, but you can also brush the dog’s teeth yourself. Make sure to use a toothbrush and paste designed for dogs. The paste comes in flavors like beef and chicken and is nontoxic. The appealing flavor to the dog will make brushing her teeth a positive experience.

Check back soon for tips on brushing your dog’s teeth.

So how many of you actually brush your dogs’ teeth?


Sunday 29th of July 2012

You should bursh their teeth becaise they can get sick from Proper oral hygiene, American Veterinary Dental Society estimates over 80% of dogs over the age of 3 years old can devolpe Gum Disease. Lack of proper oral hygiene in dogs often leads to inflamed and infected gums, loose teeth, and even rotting tooth sockets. If you do end up brushing his teeth you really need to use Dog Toothpaste other wise when you use the type of toothpaste us human use they can't just spit it out like us they will end up shallowing it and the ingredents in some toothpaste will end up hurting your pets kidneys.


Sunday 21st of August 2011

I brush my labrador retriever's teeth twice a week with doggie tooth paste and a brush that fits on my finger, he loves getting them brushed, he also has access to greenies and nylabones.

Lindsay Stordahl

Sunday 21st of August 2011

I should do the same with my dog. You are a good doggie mom!

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 9th of February 2010

Yeah I can't argue with you that it is good to brush a dog's teeth. And no one should give their dog cooked bones. Only raw bones are safe for dogs.


Tuesday 9th of February 2010

I brush my dogs teeth all the time. It honestly takes about one minute each. What I do is after supper I get them in the bathroom and brush their teeth and they love it. All of my other dogs have died because of dental problems and I intend to stop it this time. They also love chewing on nylabones and raw hides. Trust me, it is totally worth it to brush your dogs teeth. The bones cant get into every crevice that a tooth brush can. Also never give your dogs cooked bones(bones from ribs, steak, etc). Many people think these are good for dogs, but in fact they are awful. They can splinter and get stuck in your dogs gums, throwt, or even intestine and you will be making an emergency trip to the ER. Just avoid it all together. I highly recommend brushing your dogs teeth. I try do it ever day and ever dog I will have in my life is going to get its teeth brushed!

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 10th of August 2009

Yes, you do have to be careful about small, sharp bones.

As for toothpaste, the reason not to give dogs regular human toothpaste is because they will swallow it. The reason people and dogs should not swallow toothpaste is because of the fluoride. Children's toothpaste is fine because it does not have fluoride in it.