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The 5 Best Dog Toothbrushes
Dental Cleanings

The 5 Best Dog Toothbrushes

Which toothbrush is the best for your dog? Should you buy a finger toothbrush or a toothbrush toy?

Brushing a dog’s teeth three times a week is beneficial in helping to remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation.

Using positive reinforcement with your dog will go a long way when you’re teaching them that brushing their teeth is a fun activity. We recommend this seven step process for our clients to help make the act of brushing their dog’s teeth at home go smoothly.

Once your dog gets used to brushing and it becomes part of their routine (like nail trims), they will begin to enjoy the experience, especially with all the treats they get!

Toothbrush types for dogs based on size, age, and anxiety level

Toothbrush types for dogs

After testing dozens of options with our dogs, we have come up with the list below to help you find the best toothbrush for your own furry friend based on their size, age, and anxiety level.

We recommend picking a few options from this list to try with your dog and see which style he or she is most comfortable with. Ultimately, this will be the best toothbrush for your pet!

The best toothbrush for seniors ❤️

The goal when brushing a senior dog’s teeth should be to have a short and productive session to help keep them as comfortable as possible. Pet owners with senior dogs often prefer dual-head toothbrushes. The two brush head options will make it easier to reach different areas of your dog’s mouth more quickly.

Vetoquinol Enzadent Dual-Ended Toothbrush for Dogs & Cats

Toothbrush for Dogs & Cats

The best toothbrush for puppies 🐶

Look for puppy kits. Many will include a standard brush, a finger brush, and a tube of toothpaste. These kits come with multiple options so you can test them to see which toothbrush your puppy likes best.

Start with the finger brush as this is often a favorite for teething pups. Your puppy may want to chew on the handle of the standard brush, so that design may not be a good choice until they get older. See what works after a few test runs and go with the option that is most enjoyable for you and your pup!

Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Puppy Dental Kit

Oral Care Puppy Dental Kit

What about large dogs? 🐩

Because large breeds have bigger teeth and wider mouths, an electric toothbrush for dogs is a great option to make sure they get a thorough clean.

Ultrasonic toothbrushes are designed with a pulsating brush head to break down severe tartar build-up. Most varieties are also waterproof and have an LED light that allows you to better view the inside of your dog’s mouth and assess any potential tooth or gum issues.

Petosan Silent Power Sonic Dog & Cat Toothbrush, Small/Large

Dog & Cat Toothbrush

Do small dogs need tiny toothbrushes? 🐾

Finger brushes and small toothbrushes with a soft head, like those made for toddlers, are excellent for little dogs. Small breeds are more likely to experience excessive tartar buildup and gum disease, so finding a comfortable toothbrush is incredibly important to make sure they are getting a thorough dental cleaning at home.

Vet’s Best Dental Finger Dog Toothbrush

Best Dental Finger Dog Toothbrush

Dogs with anxiety may need a special toothbrush 😥

A toothbrush stick is an excellent alternative if your dog doesn’t love the idea of someone reaching inside their mouth with a toothbrush.

The toothbrush stick is a toy designed to clean your dog’s teeth. The durable rubber bristles massage deep into your dog’s mouth, removing grime as they chew. Many of these toothbrush toys can also be used with toothpaste for an even better clean!

Vet’s Best Dental Finger Dog Toothbrush

Toothbrush stick

toothpaste

What toothpaste is best for dogs?

Our staff recommends ‘enzymatic toothpaste brands’ such as Virbac or Vet’s Best. Enzymatic toothpaste contains enzymes that help reduce bacteria, which can lessen tartar buildup and improve bad breath. The most important thing to remember when brushing your dog’s teeth is not to use human toothpaste.

dental chews

What are the best dental chews?

Dental chews and treats don’t replace brushing weekly at home or annual dental cleanings. However, dental chews will satisfy any dog that craves something to chew on. Our list of the best dog dental chews can help you decide on an option that is safe for your pet.

Maintaining your pet’s dental care

Weekly brushing is an important task that all pet parents should add to their ‘home care’ list of to do’s when they bring a dog into their lives. It’s more or less a grooming activity that should occur a few times a week.

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What weekly brushing doesn’t do is replace regular professional dental cleanings.

Deep dental cleanings should be performed twice annually to remove the buildup of plaque and calculus around teeth and below the gumline. This may be a non-anesthetic procedure or it may require general anesthesia.

This article helps to explain the differences between anesthetic and non-anesthetic dental cleanings. If you’re not sure which dental cleaning procedure is best for your dog, speak with your veterinarian to help you determine the best course of action.

By implementing a routine of professional dental cleanings and regular at home brushing, you’ll be helping to prevent periodontal disease and improve the overall health of your pet!

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Kelli Harvey

Kelli Harvey has produced educational materials for local animal rescues and worked closely with veterinarians across the US to help improve the lives of pets for many years. She’s also an obsessed pet mom to two rambunctious rescue mutts!

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