How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth The Right Way

It has happened to all of us. We accept a huge hug from our lovable friend and they start to lick our faces. It is at that moment where we are more than likely too distracted to smell their breath.

After a few minutes of taking in their adorableness, it hits. The stench of their breath hits us like a wall. That is also the moment when I realize that their slob is all over me and now I smell like dog breath.


You have probably asked yourself how to brush your dog’s teeth at some point. It always seems like such a daunting task to do.

What should you use to brush your dog’s teeth? Do you need a certain type of toothpaste? When should you start and how do you go about brushing their teeth?

These are common questions that we will get answered in our article today.

What You Will Need

you will need a couple of items when brushing your dog's teeth

Brushing your dog’s teeth only requires a couple items.

1. Doggy Toothbrush

Yes, that’s right, you should not use your toothbrush on your dog. His mouth might be clean, but it is not good for his teeth! Dog toothbrushes have soft bristles that are designed to not hurt their gums and teeth.

However, using a finger brush, children toothbrush, or cotton swab can work as well. You should be aware that for larger dogs, using a toothbrush with a longer handle can make it easier to brush their teeth.

2. Doggy Toothpaste

This is important to have as human toothpaste is NOT good for your dog. It can make them sick and give them upset stomachs. One great thing about doggy toothpaste is that they come in multiple different flavors!

You should try and get toothpaste with a flavor that your dog likes. This will make brushing your dog’s teeth much easier.

Step-By-Step Guide

1 - Timing is Key

The best first step to getting your dog’s teeth brushed is picking the right time to do it. Your dog should be calm and relaxed. You can also choose to brush their teeth when they are tired from running or playing.

The less resistance you have, the better. Be sure that you have good lighting as well.

2 - Gather Your Tools

Now is the time to get your tools out. Remember to use a dog toothbrush, finger brush, or cotton swab. You should also never use human toothpaste.

Always use dog toothpaste to avoid the bad chemicals in human toothpaste.

3 - Test Your Dog’s Response

There are a few things you are going to want to test with your dog before you begin. This is to protect both you and your dog.

Firstly, test out the toothpaste you got for your dog. Get a small amount of toothpaste and put it on your finger. Let your dog lick it off. 

This is done for two reasons. One reason is to make sure your dog is used to the taste of the toothpaste before you begin. The second reason is to see how well your dog likes the toothpaste.

Next, you want to test how your dog responds to you messing with their mouth. Proceed by slowly touching your dog’s teeth and gums with your index finger. 

Lastly, grab the toothbrush and show it to your dog. Here you can let your dog lick some toothpaste off of the toothbrush as well. Your dog needs to fully familiarize themselves with the toothbrush.

4 - Begin Brushing a Few Teeth

During this step, you should go ahead and brush a few teeth. Here we are still determining your dog’s response to this new experience. Slowly and gently brush teeth that are easy to reach.

5 - Begin Brushing Their Teeth

Now, you can go ahead and start brushing the outsides of their teeth with toothpaste. Try to brush in a circular motion and expect a little bit of bleeding. This is okay and very common.

If there is a lot of blood or frequent bleeding that won’t stop, you are brushing too hard. Do not use similar movement as you would on your own teeth. If you are brushing softly and there is still bleeding, you should contact your vet immediately.

6 - Begin to Reassure Your Dog & Praise Them for Being Good

If you have made it this far and your dog is doing well, praise them! They need to understand that being good during this time is very good. This will encourage them to always behave while you brush their teeth.

7 - Brush the Inside

After getting the outsides of your dog’s teeth, you should go back and start brushing the insides. Be gentle and start with smaller teeth. Begin at the front and work your way towards the back until you are finished.

The insides are not as important as the outside. Your dog’s tongue does a better job of keeping the inside of their teeth clean. So, don’t fret if you are not able to get your dog’s inside teeth.

8 - Reward Time

Once you are finished, you should always reward your dog. Eventually, they will begin to expect a treat for positive behavior while you brush their teeth. You can even give a dental treat at this time for added benefit.

Loving on your dog is also recommended. Show them some extra attention and give them more to look forward to for behaving while you brush their teeth.

All Done!

Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Brushing your dog’s teeth is a very important task that most dog owners skip. It can ensure your dog has healthy teeth and gums.

Creating a routine is advised. My dog has grown to accept that I want his mouth clean and fresh. Your dog will grow into it as well.

Last thing, try to start brushing your dog’s teeth as soon as possible. This will make them more accepting to the routine as they get older. 

Did you enjoy our tutorial today? If so, feel free to share the article. If you have any questions or comments, I will try to address them!


Anna Sakila

Hi, I’m Anna Sakila and I love to give my friend the best of everything. I started this blog so I can also share my experiences with you. Take a tour through my site to see helpful stories and useful information on the best ways to care for your lovely dog.

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