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How to Care for Your Dog’s Teeth

By Heather Russell-Revesz

Our mouths and teeth are often a reflection of our overall health, and it’s no different for our beloved pets. Ignoring your dog’s teeth and gums will result in a buildup of plaque and tartar, which can lead to painful and even deadly periodontal disease. We are taught from an early age to brush and floss daily, and to go to the dentist for yearly dental checkups. You can give your dog the same level of care by following a regular dental routine.


• Toothpaste made for dogs: Since you won’t be rinsing the toothpaste out of your dog’s mouth, it’s important to use toothpaste formulated just for dogs. Human toothpaste may cause stomach upset.
• Toothbrush or fingerbrush
• Dental treats: Reward your dog for sitting still for toothbrushing with a dental treat, like a Nylabone Nutri Dent, available in yummy flavors like chicken and filet mignon. 


1. Let your dog get used to the toothbrush or fingerbrush. Let him smell it and lick it until he’s comfortable.
2. Put a little toothpaste on the toothbrush or fingerbrush, and let your dog lick it off. PetDental Natural toothpaste has a taste that dogs love, so your pet will think he’s getting a special treat!
3. Once your dog is comfortable with the toothbrush or fingerbrush, it’s time to work on his teeth. Open his mouth and brush the upper and lower teeth. Don’t worry if at first you can’t complete the whole mouth. Take things slowly. Try brushing the uppers one day and the lowers the next.


Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth daily. However, this isn’t feasible for many pet parents, so set a goal of at least once a week. Supplement the brushing with dental treats that are formulated to help scrape plaque off the teeth and freshen his breath, like Nylabone Nutri Dent edible dental chews. These chews can help maintain your dog’s dental health, and they taste so good he’ll be smiling all day!

Four Paws®, Magic Coat®, and Wee-Wee® products are available at major pet stores everywhere in the U.S. Please check with your local retailer or our Where to Buy page for product availability near you.