Does anyone really brush their dog's teeth?

asked 2014-09-24 14:00:34 -0600

I mean come on now.

edit edit tags flag offensive close merge delete


I will say I am awful at brushing my dogs teeth, but I give him those dental chews and take him for dental cleanings. I worked at a vet office and have seen many cases where people do not take care of their dogs teeth. They get bad breath, lose their teeth, and it can cause problems with their organs.

Ashley L.'s profile image Ashley L.  ( 2015-08-27 13:23:33 -0600 ) edit

It sounds ridiculous, I know and boy oh boy is it a painn!! But I cannot stress enough the importance of taking care of your dog & CATS teeth! They can easily get periodontal disease & gingivitis, just like we can! Ive found greenies dental chews and some type of water additive to be very helpful.

Heather L.'s profile image Heather L.  ( 2015-08-27 13:28:50 -0600 ) edit

Growing up, my family would brush our dogs teeth with baking soda once a week, as reccommended by the vet. I haven't seen any updated information since then. However, a lot of dogs I have sat get toys that aid in dental health.

Melissa H.'s profile image Melissa H.  ( 2015-08-27 13:29:53 -0600 ) edit

ABSOLUTELY! Most owners don't know that the pup's teeth are just like ours and need to be cleaned after every meal just like ours- once they know they do it. I always offer the alternative - A Greenies type snack + a tooth cleaning water additive to greatly reduce the amount of brushing needed.

Vivian S.'s profile image Vivian S.  ( 2015-09-11 21:19:41 -0600 ) edit

I have a greyhound and they come with really bad teeth from the track. A dental cleaning can easily run over $700 when teeth need to be extracted. My last dog had to get a professional cleaning every year for the last 4 years of his life with many extractions. He would get infections and be in pain

Jill H.'s profile image Jill H.  ( 2015-09-28 11:17:17 -0600 ) edit

Yes, some people do. A friend of mine use to brush his dogs teeth once a month atleast. I myself have brushed a dogs teeth that had never had any care and were yellow. It took about 6 brushings to clear them up and she was then able to eat hard foods.

Patricia J.'s profile image Patricia J.  ( 2015-09-29 17:56:30 -0600 ) edit

I do! I started my dog young by rubbing gums with my fingers, then worked our way to a small toothbrush with no toothpaste, then to the full on brushing. My dog has excellent teeth and will have a much better quality of life. Plus, I love the fact her teeth are white and not gross.

Alycia E.'s profile image Alycia E.  ( 2015-10-04 20:03:51 -0600 ) edit

I try and brush Babe's teeth every night but sometimes skip, but never more than 24 hours. It is sort of a pain but then she's kind of greedy so she at least let's me get the peanut butter flavored dog toothpaste into her mouth before she tries chewing on the toothbrush. Lol

Kendra T.'s profile image Kendra T.  ( 2015-10-14 12:13:26 -0600 ) edit

I brush my dogs teeth every night. After an expensive teeth cleaning and a difficult 3 day recovery from anesthesia, I will try my best to keep them clean!!

Kate F.'s profile image Kate F.  ( 2016-05-19 08:31:13 -0600 ) edit

I do as well. I brush them every other day and their teeth look great. No expensive cleaning needed by the vet.

Cherrie W.'s profile image Cherrie W.  ( 2016-07-05 16:30:39 -0600 ) edit

I brush my dogs teeth every other day.

Sabrina T.'s profile image Sabrina T.  ( 2016-10-29 00:10:46 -0600 ) edit

For Sure! If I didn't, we'd all be very sorry! Our dog doesn't mind it too much and we all are happy when it's done!

Megan O.'s profile image Megan O.  ( 2017-06-19 14:00:04 -0600 ) edit

http://www.inquisitr.com/4309237/do-you-brush-your-dogs-teeth-this-vet-says-you-should/ Here is an article regarding this topic.

Haley C.'s profile image Haley C.  ( 2017-06-21 19:07:36 -0600 ) edit

Yes! We brush our dogs teeth every single night before we brush ours.

Angela M.'s profile image Angela M.  ( 2017-10-02 14:26:04 -0600 ) edit

23 Answers

Sort by ยป oldest newest most voted
1 2 3 next »
answered 2014-11-04 09:42:58 -0600

Vet student here; yes, I do brush my dog's teeth daily. Having worked in a practice that does several dental procedures on dogs and cats and having first-hand experience with bad periodontal disease cases, I cannot stress the importance of dental care! Dental plaque and tartar can be just as devastating in dogs and cats as in humans... bacteria trapped under the gums can enter the circulatory system and have really negative effects on the heart and kidneys. Even if every day seems overkill, it is recommended to brush your animals' teeth at least 3 times per week.

Besides, imagine if we didn't brush our teeth ever... nasty breath, scummy teeth, probably gingivitis and cavities. Same thing for them! If you start young and get them used to it, it's a piece of cake. I got my dog as a 2 year old rescue and had to introduce the toothbrush slowly -- it took a full week before I could brush his molars in the back. With patience and consistency, and of course lots of praise, he now sits still and even begins drooling with excitement when I reach for the tube of peanut butter-flavored toothpaste! :)

edit flag offensive delete link more
answered 2014-12-10 02:33:22 -0600

We brush weekly. Best tip I got was from a vet tech who suggested using the little brushes that fit over your finger. Put the toothpaste on the palm of your hand and the brush. Dog gets busy licking your hand while your finger is in their brushing. Relatively painless.

edit flag offensive delete link more


Your toothpaste in the palm-of-hand tip is genius!

Rebekah B.'s profile image Rebekah B.  ( 2015-09-22 12:39:07 -0600 ) edit
answered 2016-04-20 19:41:07 -0600

I've always "brushed" at least weekly. I had a very very old school vet, who was awesome, and he insisted this is incredibly important. He's not one for trends, so this isn't a fad or anything, it's truly important.

That said, my vet did not expect all dogs to allow physical brushing, so he recommended enzymatic toothpaste. The best product right now is Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste. It is malt-flavored, and the dogs think it's a treat. The trick is to get a glob on your finger, gently pull your dog's cheek away from his teeth, and stick your finger into the far back, upper corner of his mouth, depositing the glob right on his gums. This far-back corner is also where the saliva glands are. If you get a nice glob deposited on each side's gland, then your dog's saliva will take care of depositing it along the gum line. The enzymes in the paste then dissolve the plaque along the gum line, accomplishing the same thing as a physical brushing might. I've never had a dog consider this experience as anything other than me being super awkward about giving him or her a treat.

edit flag offensive delete link more


good tips, thanks!

Daniella Y.'s profile image Daniella Y.  ( 2016-05-15 17:25:05 -0600 ) edit
answered 2014-11-17 10:06:41 -0600

I brush my dogs' teeth nightly, if I don't brush them for 2 or 3 days, their gums bleed. Since I started brushing them, they're teeth don't get much buildup as they used to. So it's very important to brush your dog's teeth daily or at least 3-4 days a week.

edit flag offensive delete link more
answered 2014-11-30 20:05:56 -0600

Of course! Food gets stuck in their teeth just like for humans, which leads to plaque and tartar buildup. I work in grooming and I brush most dogs' teeth with no problem. Brushing at least a few times per week prevents expensive dental procedures later on. Dog toothpaste is enzyme-based so you don't have to brush as thoroughly as you do for human teeth - the dog spreads it around his mouth with their tongue when he licks it and the enzymes break down food particles. Besides toothpaste, there are additional ways to keep a dog's teeth clean: dental chews and water additives.

edit flag offensive delete link more
answered 2015-08-27 13:46:39 -0600

Vet Student here - looks like you've gotten plenty of answers and hopefully some motivation to brush your pets teeth. I do brush my dog and cats teeth because I know it'll make them happier, healthier and live longer. From working at clinics, I've seen many dogs who have tooth root abscesses (very gross, liquidy, inflammed/swollen infected tooth root) with a giant swollen bump under their eye and are unable to eat due to the pain - this can be prevented by brushing their teeth! I believe there is also a correlation between heart disease (murmurs) and bad dental disease. with dental disease, bacteria in your mouth has direct access into the blood stream. The bacteria can lodge into little kinks in the vascular system (heart and blood vessels), causing murmurs and a shortened life span!

One last thing to add - while dental treats and water additives are wonderful for dogs who refuse to have their teth brushed, the mechanical action from using a tooth brush to scrape off plaque and tartar will give the BEST RESULTS in preventing dental disease. Just remember its GOOD to give dental treats BETTER to give food/water additives and BEST to brush! Hope this helps!

edit flag offensive delete link more
answered 2014-11-04 15:34:10 -0600

Brushing is a serious pain in the arse, b/c my dog just slirps down the toothpaste within seconds of my attempts to brush his teeth. I've tried a few different methods, and nothing works for us...

edit flag offensive delete link more
answered 2014-11-04 15:29:13 -0600

I used to brush my dogs teeth once or twice a month. But a friend of mine recently also had 5 of her dogs teeth pulled because all kinds of gunk was stuck in it for months (maybe years?). After that story, I think I'll try to brush my future dogs' teeth at least once a week.

edit flag offensive delete link more
answered 2014-09-24 14:38:39 -0600

I do for my older rescues! My Chica had 5 teeth pulled when I got her from the rescue. She only eats "wet" food so brushing keeps the rest of the teeth healthy.

Hope this helps!

edit flag offensive delete link more
answered 2015-08-27 08:45:27 -0600

My dear cocker died this month at the age of 21. I did not brush his teeth and wished I had because he had terrible bad breath and mouth infections the last year of his life. I used a water additive to manage the bad breath and tried antibiotics but he developed s severe ear infection from the antibiotics. I will do better with my 5 year old silky poo. Don't want her to have a painful, infected mouth.

edit flag offensive delete link more
1 2 3 next »

Your Answer

Please start posting anonymously - your entry will be published after you log in or create a new account. This space is reserved only for answers. If you would like to engage in a discussion, please instead post a comment under the question or an answer that you would like to discuss

Add Answer