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How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Brushing your dog’s teeth is an important part of their hygiene routine. Dental issues are a very common problem for dogs, but they can often be prevented with the proper hygiene routine. It can seem daunting to brush your dog’s teeth, but with a little training, most dogs will take to it quickly. 

corgi puppy

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth


Just like clicker training your dog, repetition and positive reinforcement are key in getting them used to having their teeth brushed. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


  • Finger brush 
  • Dog toothbrush
  • Dog-friendly toothpaste
  • Treats 

Purchasing a toothbrush and toothpaste specific to dogs is very important. Dog toothbrushes typically have softer bristles that won’t irritate their gums and are designed to use comfortably on your dog. 


Human toothpaste contains xylitol, which is very harmful to dogs. Purchasing a specific dog toothpaste will keep your dog safe if they ingest some. Plus, dog toothpaste comes in flavors like chicken that are tastier for your dog. 


The finger toothbrush is a silicone tube with ridges that you can put on your finger. It is typically easier to maneuver than a full doggy toothbrush. It is a great option for getting started training your dog as it is easier to use. 


Once you’ve gathered your materials, you’re ready to get started on the training process.


Step One: Start by getting your dog used to the feel of something on their gums. Run your finger over their gums for a few seconds then remove it and give them a treat. Repeat this process until they’re comfortable. 


Step Two: Grab your finger toothbrush and dog-friendly toothpaste. Put the toothbrush on your finger and repeat the process from step one. Once your dog is comfortable with the feel of the brush, try adding a small amount of toothpaste and repeat this process. 


Step Three: Once your dog is comfortable with the toothpaste and finger brush, try using the full-size toothbrush. Insert the toothbrush at around a 45-degree angle and use small, circular motions along the top and bottom teeth. Don’t forget to reach all the way to the back teeth!


Tip: If your dog doesn’t take to the full toothbrush, revert back to the finger brush. Some dogs may prefer this option and it’s easier to maneuver. You can give your dog a treat after you brush for positive reinforcement. 


Another way to improve your dog’s dental hygiene is to give them dog-safe fruits and veggies like carrots that can help clean the surface of their teeth. 

Elizabeth Muenzen

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Content Specialist
DOG PERSON🐶

Pets: My dog Benji is mixed Yorkie, Poodle, Chihuahua, and MaltiPom (YorkiPooChiMaltiPom?), yet he mysteriously bears no resemblance to any of these breeds.
Fun stuff: I love to cook!

Content Specialist
DOG PERSON🐶

Pets: My dog Benji is mixed Yorkie, Poodle, Chihuahua, and MaltiPom (YorkiPooChiMaltiPom?), yet he mysteriously bears no resemblance to any of these breeds.
Fun stuff: I love to cook!

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