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Cleaning a Dog’s Teeth at Home

Paul Thrasher  |  Apr 16th 2010


First, never use human toothpaste as it’s dangerous for dogs. You have a couple of options when it comes to cleaning at home. First, you can buy a toothbrush and dog toothpaste at most pet supply stores. Toothbrushes usually have heads at each end for different sized dogs. Begin by allowing the dog to inspect the brush and taste the paste to get him used to it. Work up to the actual cleaning. Use lots of treats and praise. You brush the teeth in a similar way to human teeth, starting at the gum line then a gentle downward circular sweep. It’s not as important to do the insides of the teeth, the outsides are good enough, so don’t feel you have to pry your dog’s mouth open; it’s not necessary and he won’t allow you to do it as easily in the future. Another popular method is to wrap a finger around a damp terry washcloth and clean the teeth that way. Anesthesia should be avoided unless the dog really truly needs a deep cleaning.