Canine Dental Health

Canine Dental Health:

A Step-by- Step Guide to Cleaning Dog Teeth

Dental health of a dog is necessary to prevent the pooch from getting bad breath, gingivitis, and any other periodontal diseases. We all face trouble developing teeth cleaning routine of our dogs. There's a common myth that kibble helps to clean dog's teeth naturally as it is coarse against teeth. It's against the facts as the starchy dry food gets stuck between teeth and cause tartar. Among the holistic treatments, we can find coconut oil as an effective teeth-cleaning natural alternative. Whether you use coconut oil or raw food for teeth cleaning, the best way is to brush the dog's teeth.

Step #1: Start Early

canine dental health

Begin to brush the dog’s teeth from a young age or from the day you bring home your Fido. During teething stage of the pup, get him used to your hands touching and exploring his teeth. 

Step #2: Make a routine

Once, the puppy is prepared to get the teeth cleaned, use a finger toothbrush without using any toothpaste at first. Now that the schedule is set for teeth brushing; start increasing the time gradually of teeth brushing. Finally, your dog is ready to confront a real dog toothpaste and toothbrush. Start off by letting the pooch explore and taste the meat-flavored paste. When he is comfortable with the foreign taste, put it on the brush and start brushing. Brush the teeth on a daily basis.

Warning: Human toothpaste is not safe for dogs.

Step #3: Give him chews

Dog owners who believe in holistic treatments prefer to give raw bones to chew to the dogs. As the hard bone rubs against teeth, plaque and tartar get removed. Wolves, the ancestors of dogs, chewed on bones and it kept them safe from periodontal diseases by making the teeth clean and the gums strong. However, there’s a controversy on giving raw food to dogs because of the risk of salmonella bacteria. Baked bones are hard enough to cause tooth fractures. Cooked bones can splinter in the mouth, and may cause seizures. Dental chews are safe alternatives that prevent the plaque from developing on the enamel of teeth. Learn more about the variety of LTHQ-selected dental chews.

Rubber Chew toys with ridges can also help remove tartar from dog’s teeth. Put tasty and healthy food into the ridges so that the grooves rub against teeth. You can rub some edible toothpaste on the chew toy to help clean the dog’s teeth.

Step #4: Praise and appreciate

Throughout following all the steps mentioned above, praise him. Pet the dog for letting you touch and brush his teeth. As a reward, you can have playtime with your pooch after brushing his teeth.  Create positive associations in his mind. Stay persistent in rewarding him even if years have passed since the first brushing experience.

Final Verdict:

Dogs who are heavy chewers can be a little tricky to handle, so you may opt for dental chews and chew toys as alternatives. However, in general, the best way to clean dog’s teeth is teeth brushing. Use positive reinforcement and stay patient as well as persistent to develop a routine of your pet for teeth cleaning.

James Shore

James Shore

James is a part-time dog-trainer and dog behavior consultant with years of experience in dog training and the man behind He is interested in finding out fun ways to handle dog behaviors, specifically, Labradors to help dog-owners enjoy their companions at all times.