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Dog dental health – oral health

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Dog Dental Health - Oral Health Review

Dental health is very important. It’s now been proved that humans with poor dental health are more likely to get other nasty general illnesses caused by poor dental hygiene. Like you humans, dogs need to have good teeth and good oral health or they can end up with other bad illnesses. Bad breath is something no one likes so keep our teeth clean! Dog teeth are easy to care for with the right equipment. 

Warning! - dog 'toys' with toothpaste applicators

We are not recommending any of the plastic/rubber dog toothpaste-type toys because we could not find any that did not fall apart quite quickly with a strong chewer. If you do choose to buy your dog one of these ‘dental toys’, they must only be used while a human is there to supervise. Plastic or rubber parts falling off can choke and/or injure a dog. Even Kongs and Nylabone “toys” should only be used with supervision.

Dog chew toys

A good bone from the local butcher is very good for keeping dog teeth strong and healthy. Find out more on the page, “What to look for in dog food and foods dogs must not eat.”

Dog rubber toys that help to rub plaque off your dog’s teeth can be really good and effective for keeping teeth strong and clean. Quality treat toys like a Kong and Nylabone can be good for teeth and gums. Dental chews rather than some plastic/rubber “dental toys” are best. Some of these “Dental Toys” which contain dog toothpaste can be chewed apart and swallowed causing harm.

Chewing on a good, strong rubber toy can help keep our teeth clean and strong and there are some’toys’ specially designed for this purpose. It’s not enough to just give us one of these, you still need to clean our teeth with a brush.

Best dog dental health chews and dog chew sticks

“One GREENIES Original Dental Treat a day is all it takes for clean teeth, fresh breath and a happy dog”. That’s what the ad says! I love a Greenie and it does keep my teeth pretty clean and my breath quite fresh. My human doesn’t understand why I like them so much because they don’t look that good and they feel a bit like a wax candle! I’ve got a strong chew but they usually take me around 3 or 4 minutes to finish. Little Malt, who is a light chewer, takes a long time to get through one.

Greenies original also have a VOHC (veterinary oral health council) seal of approval. They contain ingredients to clear plaque and tartar and are easy on our tummy. Like all food, you may come across an occasional dog that may not cope with them very well. They also contain some vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you can find out about and buy here.

 PEDIGREE DENTASTIX Large Dental Dog Treats are made for medium to large dogs over 30lbs. They have a chicken flavor and are designed to help a dog’s oral care routine. Keeping the mouth and gums cleaner helps stop bad dog breath. Most dogs like them and they can also come in a grain-free recipe. 

Pedigree tell us they are ‘clinically proven” to reduce plaque and tartar and we’d agree that they do help to keep mouths clean and fresh. One treat a day is recommended and it only takes me a couple of minutes to make one disappear! Find out more and order here

These are all natural, healthy, vegetable based and gluten free. Dogs with chicken or other allergies might find these are OK. Whimzees come in various packs to suit small to large dogs and they help remove plaque and tartar. 

They are made in different textures to help get to the bottom of teeth and gums as they are chewed, and they last longer than most dental chews which means they are chewed longer to get the job done! All dogs are different, but these seem to suit most dogs and don’t seem to upset stomachs as much as some others. Find out more and buy here.

This flavored in big chew toy does work with most big chewers for a few months but be prepared to throw it out when it starts to lose shape. It will keep most big dogs busy for quite a long time but is not indestructible! 

It is made of long-lasting tough nylon with a tasty beef flavor. The makers claim it will also relieve anxiety, but we don’t think your dog should be left alone with this so not quite sure how that works! 

Made in the USA, this toy will assist in dental hygiene so find out more and buy here.

Best Dog Toothbrushes - What to look for in a dog toothbrush - Dog Dental health

How to Choose the Best Dog Toothbrush - Dog toothbrush types

Dog toothbrushes come in three different designs and all need to be soft, (softer than a baby human toothbrush), to stop us damaging our gums. Please, never use an old human toothbrush to clean our teeth. Our gums are even more delicate than a baby human!

Regular dog toothbrush

Regular dog toothbrushes look very like human tooth brushes but with a very soft bristle, (and very often a longer handle). The toothbrush head is usually at an angle because it makes it easier for you humans to get it into our mouth to do the job. Our teeth are quite different to human teeth in their size and the way they grow, so don’t try using a regular human toothbrush please!

Dog finger tooth brush

These are like old sowing thimbles or finger puppets! They fit over a human finger and you can rub our teeth clean with the ‘brush”, usually just tough rubber. These are excellent for big dog teeth.

Dog duel-head toothbrush

The duel sometimes has a brush at each end. Often the duel head dog toothbrush doesn’t have two different heads but is more double-sided with bristles on both sides of the same head. One side is usually wider than the other with more bristles. The big end is  good for bigger mouths while the other side is good for smaller dogs.   

Dog toothbrushes general information - Dog Dental health

  • Use a toothbrush made for dogs and don’t use an old human brush or you will do damage!
  • Choose a size suitable for your dog that will easily fit in the mouth.
  • Think about yourself, you may not want to use a finger toothbrush because you don’t like putting your hand in our mouth. You can buy long-handled dog tooth brushes.

Introducing a dog or puppy to teeth cleaning - dog dental health

Put a small amount of toothpaste on your finger and get your dog to lick it off. Next, slowly progress to rubbing your finger along the gum line and teeth. You can then introduce your finger brush or dog toothbrush. It’s best to do this 2-3 times per week.

Best toothbrush for dogs

Dog finger toothbrushes are really good but they are maybe not the best buy if you have a small dog and big fingers! 

The H & H Pets dog finger toothbrushes are designed to improve dental health with a slightly curved profile to get in to difficult places. They are made from top quality materials and the bristles on the toothbrush are soft and should not harm gums. They can be bought in packs of 4 or packs of 8. There are good tips on how to use them properly on the pack.  As a big bonus H&H pets donate 15% of their profits to animal rescue so look for more information and buy here.

The silicon gel dental brush set is a bit different to a ‘standard dog toothbrush”. No dog I know really likes getting a brush stuck in their mouth. If you have a dog that really hates a toothbrush then these might be worth trying.

They are a bit like finger dog toothbrushes with a handle instead of a finger inside. Note, they are described as having a ‘curved handle’ but the handle is straight, but the head is curved to ‘fit around’ teeth.

The silicone dental brush has a soft rubber brush head, not bristle, but is gentle on gums. It is quite effective in scraping off dirt and tartar and some find it easier to use than a traditional brush.

A double-sided design with different thicknesses is handy and a good 6inch long handle so find out more and buy here

Dog toothbrushes, can’t make up your mind which is the best dog toothbrush for you? This brushing kit from Boshel includes a finger dog toothbrush and two long-handled dual head toothbrushes so you can use both types or choose which you and your dog like best.  Also, good value for those with more than one dog mouth to keep clean as it can be used for big and small dogs.

This is a really good value dog toothbrush kit designed for easy use. They are maybe not the strongest made and you might expect to replace them after a few years, but they are good for the job and very well-priced so check them out here.

Duke’s Pet Products Dog Toothbrush Set Double Sided Canine Dental Hygiene Brushes with Long 8 1/2 Inch Handles has a nice soft bristle and a long handle for easy reach into a large or mouth. This has a brush on each end, a small on one side and a large on the other. It’s good quality and does the job well, particularly for those who don’t like putting their hands in a dog’s mouth. Find out more and buy here.

Dog Grooming Dental Hygene kit - Dog Dental health

Mascota Pets is dog toothbrush kit which should keep everyone, including your dog, happy. Its reasonable quality, it works and it’s a nice low price with a money-back warranty.


The pet finger toothbrush is designed for easy and quick cleaning. The long-handled toothbrushes are each designed with a small and large brush to make for easy cleaning in all parts of the mouth.

Mascota Pets dog toothbrush pack is an 8-brush value pack of finger brushes and long-handled dog toothbrushes. It has very good ratings by other dog owners and you get the lot for way under $8.00 so have a look here.

Mascota Pets dog toothbrush pack

Best Dog Toothpaste - dog dental health

Please do not use human toothpaste with your dog. Most good dog toothpastes are enzymatic, which means they have antibacterial enzyme that attacks plaque and tartar.

It is important to rinse out human toothpaste but with dog enzymatic dog toothpaste, there is no need to rinse out and they are safe to swallow.

You’ll be told in other places on the internet about “best for bad breath dog toothpaste”, “best tartar control” and stuff like that. A good dog toothpaste gets rid of the bacteria that gives dogs bad breath, (just like humans). If you buy a good dog toothpaste it will do everything as it should!

SENTRY Petrodex Advanced Dental Care Enzymatic Toothpaste is formulated specifically for dogs and other pets. It is a non-foaming formula with enzymes and does not require mouth rinsing. With regular use, it helps control plaque and fights bad breath. Best of all, it comes in a delicious poultry flavor that dogs love!

It has all the ingredients that make a dog toothpaste work well and is highly recommended so check it out by clicking here.

This puppy safe formula will help keep teeth clean and clear bad dog breath. 

The Arm & Hammer is a very long-established company with a good reputation. The Arm & Hammer Advanced Care Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs is designed to remove and prevent plaque build-up. Safe to use, baking soda cleans and deodorizes and enzymes clear tartar so a clean mouth means no bad breath.

It is made of natural ingredients that work as a dog breath freshener with a slight mint smell. Find out more and buy on the link here.

 Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs and Cats, Beef Flavor, 2.5 oz

C.E.T. products are widely used and good.   The C.E.T. product line is the #1 recommended dental brand by vets. C.E.T. Tartar Control Toothpaste contains a strengthened enzyme which are a bit rougher than regular dog toothpastes. It has no foaming agents and is safe for pets to swallow. A very good vet-approved product so find out more by clicking here.

Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste - Low cost dog toothpaste

Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste is a low cost, affordable dog toothpaste that does work and it comes with a pretty good dog toothbrush. It is formulated by vets and contains enzymes and natural ingredients that gently clean plaque and tartar and so freshening dog breath. The Vet’s best kit includes a triple-headed toothbrush, which makes brushing easy. The brush has a 3 bristle heads which form around each tooth,Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste click here.

Dental Water Additives

There is NO substitute for brushing the dogs’ teeth every couple of days and we don’t believe that dental water additives are a substitute for brushing teeth. Some dog owners are quite convinced that these dental water additives do assist in keeping breath fresh and teeth clean. These products are an ‘add-on” to brushing teeth, just like a mouthwash for you humans, they are not a substitute for brushing. We are recommending one here if you think it is a good addition to your dog’s oral health.

Naturel Promise Fresh Dental Water Additive for Dogs

The Fresh Dental Water Additive Plus Skin & Coat is developed to provide dogs and cats with daily oral hygiene care. It does contain Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids which should help to keep a healthy skin and coat and it will not do any harm. You just add one tablespoonful (one cap full) to the water bowl every time you refill it. It’s worth starting with maybe a smaller amount to begin with and add a little more each day as it does change the ‘taste’ of the water. Many people really rate this as an excellent product, we are not so sure if it does make a big difference, but we do say if you decide to use this, keep brushing occasionally too. If you are wondering what it contains then here are the ingredients as stated on the bottle.

Purified Water, Glycerin, Cetylpyridinium Chloride, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids, Green Tea Leaf Extract. Now you know so if you want to see reviews on this you can click here.

Dog Dental Health -Oral Health Review - SUMMARY

It’s very important to look after a dog’s teeth and mouth. This will obviously stop big vet bills for dental work but an unhealthy mouth can cause other illnesses too as well as giving us bad breath

  • Give us a good natural bone occasionally, (make sure its the right type of bone and not cooked). 
  • A good, strong rubber chew toy can also be helpful to clean and strengthen teeth and gums. Even the best like a Kong or a Nylabone should be supervised in case they start to break up.
  • Choose a good dog toothbrush and clean our teeth regularly with an approved enzymatic dog toothpaste. Any recommended on this page will do the job well and safely.
  • Never use human toothbrushes or human toothpaste to clean a dog’s teeth.
  • Most dental toys with dog toothpaste filling are not very strong and can be destroyed by even a moderate strength dog chewer, stay away from them.
  • Dental water additives are becoming quite popular. They are NOT a substitute for cleaning our teeth but they may be helpful.

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