Does anyone really brush their dog's teeth?

asked 2014-09-24 14:00:34 -0500

I mean come on now.

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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 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) edit

I brush my dogs teeth every other day.

Sabrina T.'s profile image Sabrina T.  ( 2016-10-29 00:10:46 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) 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 -0500 ) edit

23 Answers

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answered 2016-05-18 13:42:53 -0500

I cannot stress enough the importance of dental hygiene for your furry loved ones. With 92% of dogs having some form of dental disease in varying severity by the age of THREE it's blatantly evident that not only do owners think teeth brushing is trivial but ones that KNOW it's important are just too lazy to do it. I work in a grooming salon and it breaks my heart to see some clients come in with rotting teeth that are shades of green and black. So many dogs come in with sensitive gums or missing teeth because of how much people don't really care to brush their dog's teeth.

Before I started working with animals I also had no idea that dental hygiene was so incredibly important for my dog. She went 9 years of un-brushed teeth. Her gums and teeth were completely rotted, her breath smelled of decay and looking back on it now I feel horrible because it got to a point where she could only eat wet food because she couldn't chew anything hard. Of course, I was too young to really know or do anything about it but I know now and actively brush my cat's teeth because of how important it is.

PLEASE BRUSH YOUR DOGS TEETH. It really isn't a joke or something to skip out on.

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answered 2016-05-15 08:21:26 -0500

You don't need to brush your dogs teeth but you should buy them rawhides or bones in order to keep their teeth clean and healthy.

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answered 2016-05-14 08:16:34 -0500

I don't but I give my dog dental chews, treats and toys often to clean his teeth. The vet always comments on how nice and clean his teeth are.

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answered 2016-04-20 19:41:07 -0500

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.

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good tips, thanks!

Daniella Y.'s profile image Daniella Y.  ( 2016-05-15 17:25:05 -0500 ) edit
answered 2015-09-15 13:18:17 -0500

We feed our dogs home made dog food. Mostly rice and raw ground beef, plus the essential vitamins and minerals. We very seldom brush our dogs teeth and our vet always comments on how good our dogs teeth and gums look. We give the occasional rawhide and beef bone but it is due to their diet. I have also heard that 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt after eating is very good for dogs teeth. = D

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answered 2015-09-10 22:06:12 -0500

Another way would be to get your dog a beef knuckle bone to chew on. Dogs naturally clean their teeth by chewing on bones. I will say I am not a vet and cannot guarantee that this will prevent gum disease. I recently received a dog to sit the dogs teeth were covered in plaque after a week chewing on a beef knuckle every 3 days or so and a dental stick every night his teeth are white and his breath is not to bad. Please do not use rawhides or rawhide dental sticks these can harm or kill your dog also if you buy toothpaste for your dog make sure it does not have Formaldehyde, Detergent, Glycerine Glycol, chalk, Titanium Dioxide, and anything else that sounds harmful. human toothpaste generally has warnings not to ingest so be careful what you use to clean your dogs teeth. I hope this helps some of you and remember when concerning your dogs health always consult a trusted vet and get a second opinion the same as if they were your children.

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answered 2015-08-29 18:21:46 -0500

I brushed me senior dog's teeth once a week for years and it could be a little tricky at times, but, it was worth all the time. Sadly, one day he stopped letting me when he started getting older, even growling at me for the first time, so I had to stop and now I give him raw bones to help get some of the plaque off, but, his teeth are not the same. I used a finger brush for years with poultry flavored toothpaste and I would touch his gums and teeth often to get him used to the idea of me fingers in his mouth and that is what help me for some time. I found out that raw bones can help a lot for dogs who just do not want you to brush their teeth. I hope this helps you some.

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answered 2015-08-27 13:46:54 -0500

Brushing your dog's teeth is something every pet owner should do. It helps avoid costly dental issues down the road. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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answered 2015-08-27 13:46:39 -0500

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!

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answered 2015-08-27 13:40:23 -0500

I'm sorry but I disagree with most of these posts. I've had two dogs over the course of two decades and never brushed their teeth. Nor did I ever have a problem with tartar buildup, teeth falling out, or bad breath. People that brush your dog's teeth, do you floss their teeth too?

I would ask your vet because I'm sure they know better than me but I took my dogs in for regular checkups and it was never a concern.

A dog's saliva is much stronger than a humans and brushing their teeth is something I'm pretty sure has only come about in just the last few years. For centuries dog owners have not been brushing their dog's teeth.

I did give my dog cow femur bones from the butcher to chew on and that probably helped a lot. Cow femur bones won't splinter. My dogs were 100+ pound German Shepherds and they never broke through one of the femur bones .

I also fed my dogs high quality dog food, not the terrible stuff that is typically advertised on TV. Do a Google search about whats in dog food and you will be horrified. There is however the issue of cost. High quality dog food is not cheap.

All that said, I know people are only asking because they're concerned about their dogs. I don't mean to offend anybody for their opinions.

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It really depends on the dogs. Yes brushing is always the best but if they are big chewers, as they chew they are scraping away the tarter build up. Smaller dogs are typically worse than lg dogs. Teeth are closer together, smaller mouth more places for food and hair to get trapped in.

Erica M.'s profile image Erica M.  ( 2018-03-28 15:47:21 -0500 ) edit

Very true Erica.

Neville M.'s profile image Neville M.  ( 2018-03-29 22:50:41 -0500 ) edit
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