Ask the Vet - Teeth Brushing Alternatives For Dogs
A black dog lies on their back with teeth showing

Ask the Vet - Teeth Brushing Alternatives For Dogs

7 December 2022

Written by Dr. David Cuffe, MVB MA MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon
Reviewed by Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and in-house expert at BorrowMyDoggy on 5 Jun 2023

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QUESTION: My dog won’t let me brush his teeth and won’t eat dentastix. Are there any other ways to clean his teeth? - Karen Mills.

ANSWER: Brushing your dog’s teeth can sometimes be a tricky task. If they don’t enjoy it, it could be one of these reasons:

  1. Oral health - if a dog has soreness in the mouth, he or she may find even gentle massaging with a finger brush painful. Your vet can assess the health of the teeth and gums to see if any dental work is required before pain free brushing is going to be achievable. Some smaller breeds like Yorkshire Terriers may find brushing distressing, as they have very tiny (often overcrowded) mouths!
  2. Training - it is not always easy to convince your dog that tooth brushing is an essential activity. Introducing slowly and gently when the dog is very young will yield best results - some dogs even look forward to brushing once they are used to it. They may particularly like it if you use one of the very tasty chicken flavoured enzymatic toothpastes on the market. With an adult dog, it can be more challenging to introduce.

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Alternative to brushing your dog's teeth

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