How to Teach Dogs to Brush Their Teeth: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn simple steps to teach your dog to accept tooth brushing. Start early, use the right tools, and be consistent for your dog's dental health.

Pets Blog
11. Jun 2024
How to Teach Dogs to Brush Their Teeth: A Step-by-Step Guide

Keeping your dog's teeth clean is crucial for their overall health. Dental hygiene can prevent bad breath, gum disease, and other health issues. While brushing your dog's teeth might seem challenging, it can be manageable with patience and the right approach. Here's a simple, step-by-step guide on how to teach your dog to accept tooth brushing.

1. Start Early and Make It Routine

The best time to start brushing your dog's teeth is when they are a puppy, but it's never too late to begin. Make tooth brushing a part of your dog's daily routine to help them get used to it.

2. Gather the Right Supplies

You'll need the right tools to brush your dog's teeth effectively:

  • Dog-Specific Toothbrush: These are designed to fit comfortably in your dog’s mouth. You can use a regular dog toothbrush or a finger brush.
  • Dog-Friendly Toothpaste: Human toothpaste is harmful to dogs. Use toothpaste made specifically for dogs, which often comes in flavors like chicken or beef that dogs find appealing.

Also Read - How to Clean Your Dog's Ears at Home

3. Get Your Dog Comfortable

Before you start brushing, get your dog used to having their mouth touched. Follow these steps:

  • Touch Their Face and Mouth: Gently pet your dog’s face and touch their mouth. Lift their lips and touch their teeth. Do this for a few seconds each day until your dog is comfortable.
  • Introduce the Toothpaste: Let your dog taste a small amount of the dog-friendly toothpaste. Most dogs will enjoy the taste, making the process easier.

4. Introduce the Toothbrush

Once your dog is comfortable with you touching their mouth and tasting the toothpaste, it's time to introduce the toothbrush.

  • Show the Toothbrush: Let your dog see and sniff the toothbrush. You can even put a bit of toothpaste on it for them to lick off.
  • Brush a Few Teeth: Start by gently brushing a few of your dog’s teeth. Use slow, circular motions and focus on the outside surfaces of the teeth.

5. Gradually Increase Brushing Time

Don’t try to brush all your dog’s teeth in one session at the beginning. Gradually increase the time and the number of teeth you brush as your dog gets more comfortable.

  • Short Sessions: Begin with short sessions, just a few seconds each. Gradually increase the duration as your dog becomes more tolerant.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Praise your dog and give them a treat after each brushing session. Positive reinforcement helps them associate tooth brushing with a reward.

6. Be Consistent

Consistency is key to making tooth brushing a habit. Aim to brush your dog’s teeth at the same time every day. Daily brushing is ideal, but even a few times a week can make a significant difference.

Also Read - Things to Consider When Adopting a New Pet

7. Use Dental Chews and Toys

In addition to brushing, dental chews and toys can help keep your dog’s teeth clean. These products are designed to reduce plaque and tartar buildup while your dog chews.

  • Dental Chews: Look for chews specifically designed for dental health.
  • Dental Toys: Toys with ridges and nubs can help clean teeth as your dog plays.


Teaching your dog to accept tooth brushing takes time, patience, and consistency. Start by making your dog comfortable with mouth handling, gradually introduce the toothbrush and toothpaste, and use positive reinforcement to make the experience enjoyable. Supplement regular brushing with dental chews and toys to keep your dog's teeth in top condition. With these steps, you can help ensure your furry friend maintains good dental health and a happy, healthy life.

Image Credit: Bing Copilot

Note - We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct. Some article is created with help of AI.


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Excellent post. I am facing a few of these issues as well..
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