Home Dogs All You Need to Know About Dog Dental Care

All You Need to Know About Dog Dental Care


There are multiple dental care products available on the market to help a dog’s oral hygiene. These dog teeth cleaning products are great because they allow you to clean your dog’s teeth at home and save you the expense of veterinary bills in the future. Many canine teeth cleaning products are easily available at most pet retailers and veterinary offices.

Specially Designed Toothbrushes for Dogs

Just like in our case, the best way to prevent dental problems is to brush the dog’s teeth regularly. The motion of brushing the teeth creates abrasive action which helps breakdown dog tartar and plaque. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly also improves gums’ health by stimulating the circulation of blood to the gum line.

Dog toothbrushes are similar to the ones we use but many of them have brushes at both ends. The larger brush is best for cleaning the canines and pre-molars, while the smaller heads work well to clean teeth further back in the dog’s mouth.

There is a large variety of toothbrushes you can choose from, but first of all, find one that is appropriate for the size of your dog. Dog toothbrushes work best when paired with a good quality dog toothpaste.

Flavored Toothpaste for Dogs

Dog kinds of toothpaste are much different from human ones. It’s very important to know that human toothpaste contains fluoride, which is toxic to dogs. These should never be used when brushing your dog’s teeth. Dog toothpaste formulas act either by abrasive compounds or with the assistance of enzymes. The abrasive ingredients work to chip away developing plaque on dogs’ teeth and tartar.

A huge benefit of these dog toothpaste is that they are edible and do not require rinsing. For maximum effectiveness, your dog’s teeth should be brushed daily.

To make dog teeth cleaning easier, most dog toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors, and the most common ones are beef, chicken, mint, or peanut butter. A tasty toothpaste makes brushing even easier. They think they’re getting a treat with each cleaning!

Dental Spray for Dogs

Dog dental sprays work similar to dog toothpaste but without manual labor. Most dog dental sprays have enzymes within the liquid that help to slowly breakdown plaque and tartar build-up. These products are alcohol-free and do not require rinsing. Most dog dental sprays typically come in mint flavors that also reduce smelly dog breath.

Most dog dental sprays are recommended for use daily. The bottles are attached to pumps that create a fine spray. The pump should be aimed at the dog’s mouth and administered according to the directions on the spray bottle. To make it easier, some dental sprays can be applied to your dog’s favorite chew toys before playtime.

Dental Wipes for Dogs

Some dogs will not tolerate having a dog toothbrush in their mouth, they will consider it a toy, especially dogs that have not been trained from an early age. This is where dog dental wipes come to your help. They are a convenient all-in-one product. These wipes are textured to be abrasive, but also soft as to prevent damage to the dog’s mouth.

Dental wipes work well in dogs who may have a sensitive mouth and cannot tolerate manual brushing. Most products contain enzymes to reduce plaque build-up on the dog’s teeth and freshen up the dog’s breath. The only downside to using dog dental wipes is that you must use your fingers to clean every teeth. You need to be very cautious as this can accidentally lead to dog bites.

Dog Teeth Cleaning Toys

Toys are one of the easiest methods of cleaning your dog’s teeth because they require almost no effort on your part. Plus, your dog gets to have a lot of fun while unknowingly cleaning his teet. Many toys are advertised specifically for dog dental health. These toys will have raised portions or hard stubbly surfaces. This maximizes the abrasive action of the toy as your dog chews it.

Technically speaking, any toy that encourages chewing will have teeth cleaning effect. The action of chewing alone causes the material to rub against the teeth, chipping away plaque and tartar. Some toys are designed to be paired with a dog toothpaste or dog dental gel to maximize the cleaning action.

For seniors or dogs with sensitive mouths, you may want to choose a softer toy, such as a rope toy. As with any toy, be sure to monitor your dog during play. Dog toys should be large enough to avoid being swallowed and should be durable enough to prevent pieces from breaking off.

Dental Chews for Dogs

Dog dental chews and treats are another great alternative to manually cleaning your dog’s teeth. They are designed to be extremely tasty for your pet and highly digestible. These dental treats come in several varieties and work by encouraging your dog to chew on them. The act of chewing significantly reduces the amount of plaque and tartar build-up. Some treats are coated with a compound that breaks down the tartar on a dog’s teeth. Several top brands also include chemicals and natural additives in these chews to improve your dog’s breath.

With any dog treat, special precautions should be taken. Due to their edible nature, these treats may not be suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs or food allergies. Follow the directions on the product closely and stop serving the treats if any diarrhea or vomiting occurs.

Prescription Dental Diet for Dogs

Prescription diets are specially created for dog dental care and are available through your veterinarian. The most common brands sold in veterinary offices are Hill’s, Purina, and Royal Canin. Dental diet for dogs replicates brushing your dog’s teeth by creating an abrasive action while chewing.

Dental diets have less calcium and protein which reduces mineralization of the plague. They also contain custom ingredients to help with dental hygiene and prevent deposits of tartar. The texture and shape of the kibble produce a soft abrasive effect on the teeth during chewing, thus helping to keep the dog’s teeth clean.

The only downside to these diets is that is best to be prescribed and purchased through a veterinarian.

Water Additives for Dogs’ teeth

Using a water additive is another simple approach to ensure good dental hygiene. These solutions are added daily to your dog’s water bowl. Water additive for dogs contains various compounds that break down tartar and plaque on the dog’s teeth. They have the added benefit of improving your dog’s breath too. The water additive must be used daily for full effectiveness.

Precaution should be taken as some dogs are sensitive to changes in their water. The change in the odor or taste of the water may cause the dog to become reticent to drink. If this is the case, water additives administration should be stopped immediately.

Dental Gel for Dogs teeth

Dental gel for dogs works similarly to dental sprays. They coat the teeth to break down the build-up tartar without having to brush your dog’s teeth. Unlike dental sprays, the gel must be applied directly to the teeth for good results. Most dental gels for dogs have dual-action, reducing tartar, and also improving the dog’s breath.

Some products also offer the added benefit of soothing oral irritations, like gum inflammation. Most products require daily use for the first month and after that only a couple of times a week. Dog dental gel also requires a manual application. So be cautious if you are applying them with your fingers.

Dog Dental Care Kit

Cleaning your dog’s teeth is even simpler with the purchase of an oral care kit. These dog dental kits are sold by most pet retail stores and veterinary offices. Most of them come with a combination of a dog toothbrush, dog toothpaste, and dental gels as well.

Generally, they are more cost-effective and come in several varieties. There are various flavor options for dog toothpaste depending on your dog’s preferences. This can be a good first-timer kit to see what suits your dogs’ routine.

Professional Veterinary Dental Cleaning

Depending on the severity of your dog’s dental disease, professional intervention may be required. The need for dog teeth cleaning is usually determined by your veterinarian during your dog’s annual check-up. Your veterinarian will take a close look at any signs of tartar or plaque deposits, dental diseases, or infections.

The veterinarian will look for signs of dental disease in your dog before recommending a thorough tooth cleaning session. As a dog owner, you should be aware of the following signs that indicate dental problems:

  • Foul-smelling breath
  • Red, inflamed, or bleeding gums
  • Tooth loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive drooling
  • Dark spots on the teeth roots
  • Plaque or tartar build-up

Dental cleanings for dogs are usually only suggested by vets when needed and the procedure is very similar to that for humans. The main difference is that the dog is usually anesthetized. The cost, duration, and intensiveness of your dog’s dental cleaning will depend on how complex the procedure is.

Does Pet Insurances Cover Dog Dental Care?

Dog dental care can be more affordable with a dental insurance plan for dogs. Some pet insurance companies cover the costs of routine dog teeth cleaning. They work by reimbursing you for the amount spent on the procedure. There will be a deductible depending on your insurance plan, but a percentage of the remainder should be covered by the company. It’s very important to discuss coverage with your pet insurance company before purchasing a plan.

Not every company will cover routine dental care, some of them will only cover dental emergencies. You need to find out this information before committing. Shop around and look for pet insurance companies that provide the type of coverage you need.

Pet Wellness Plans

Some veterinary hospitals, like Ban-field, will offer pet wellness plans. These plans are completely optional but designed to cover all of your pet’s yearly needs at a discounted fee. These plans will cover vaccines, diagnostics, office visits, and yearly dental cleaning for adult dogs’ teeth.

Joellen Davis
Jo is a proud owner of two dogs, a 5-year-old beagle, Juno, and a 4-year-old Hungarian Vizsla, Rina. 3 years ago, when she married Robert, the pet gang expanded with their cat Tom, who is now 6 years old. Jo is a freelance writer passionate about nutrition and healthy lifestyle, but her great "weakness" are pets. Nothing delights her more than when her advice proves valuable to readers. As a pet owner but also from the perspective of an excellent research writer, with an objective thinking, Jo aims to help pet parents to create a balanced environment, pleasant for the whole family, with an emphasis on a healthy lifestyle, positive motivation, and prevention.


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