How To Clean A Dog’s Teeth Without Brushing

Dogs have their own personalities. They’re like little children with their own likes and dislikes and their own sense of humor.

That’s one of the reasons why we love our furry best friends.

Just like children, dogs need their teeth brushed regularly so they can hang on to them for a long time to come.

Humans aren’t the only ones who get gum disease and this is the leading cause of tooth loss, so in order to protect that toothy smile they give you when you rub their belly just the right way, you’ll need to put in the effort with their dental health.

Preferable before they have any problems with their teeth.

Just like humans, some dogs just hate having their teeth brushed and if you have a big dog like a German Shepherd or a Pitbull then wrestling them to the ground to attend to their teeth is not an option unless you’re built like Dwayne Johnson.

Since most of us aren’t ex-pro wrestlers, we thought it might be useful to explain some methods and products that can help keep your dog smiling for many years to come without the hassle of brushing. 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a well-known health food for humans, but did you know it can also help your dog’s dental health?

Coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties which can help reduce bacteria in your dog’s mouth which causes plaque buildup.

Some dogs love the taste of coconut oil and will tolerate it being rubbed on their teeth when they are relaxed. 

Try keeping the jar or container of coconut oil next to you on the couch and then invite your furry buddy up for a cuddle in front of the TV.

After they’re relaxed, see if they’ll let you rub it on their teeth, focusing on the base of their teeth and gums.

Dogs aren’t usually fans of change and are very sensitive to new smells, so if you don’t succeed right away then try again another time.

In the meantime, you can put a small amount of pure coconut oil in your dog’s food. 

Dental Chews

You may need to check with your veterinarian beforehand, but raw bones are suitable for some dogs to chew on.

Chewing on raw bones would be the way wild canines would have cleaned their teeth in bygone ages before they started kicking us out of our own beds.

The act of gnawing and ripping a natural bone doesn’t just clean the surface of their teeth but gets in between their teeth better than most other chews. 

Bully sticks or dental chews are a good alternative, though, if you’re worried about splinters or bacteria in meat products.

You can get a 30 day supply of Vetality Daily Dental Chews from your local Petsmart for a tasty treat that helps with doggy dental health.

Amazon sells brush-shaped dental chews which are pretty budget-friendly and there are tonnes of variations on this theme on the market. 

The only thing we would say to be aware of with dental treats is that they tend to be very high in fat, which isn’t great for your dog’s insides.

Some dogs enjoy gnawing on a carrot or similar root vegetable, but how effective this is at preventing tartar and plaque buildup is not known precisely.

If you have a large dog, and only give them dental chews designed for smaller dogs then that should help prevent obesity and heart disease in your pet, but if you have a smaller dog, then half a treat might be better. 

Spray Away

Dog spray is a great alternative to brushing your dog’s teeth if you can’t manage it.

It’s quicker than brushing so you won’t have to worry about pinning them down for long periods of time, just a couple of quick spritzes and you’re done.

The drawback to this is that the spray may not get to every tooth and it’s likely that you will only get the visible front surface of your dog’s teeth because that’s what you can see, but this leaves the backs and sides of the teeth vulnerable.

Sprays also typically take longer to succeed in breaking down plaque and reducing tartar build-up than other methods. 

Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to use a dental mouth spray in conjunction with another of our tips and ideas to give your dog’s teeth a better chance of staying healthy.

Trusted brands for doggy dental health are tropiClean, Arm & Hammer, and Nylabone but there are others.

These brands come highly recommended by consumers and don’t cost the earth either. 

You can find several options for doggy dental sprays from the Petsmart website.

Where possible, try to get a dental spray that claims to help reduce plaque, bacteria, and tartar and not one that just freshens breath because this will give better results for their teeth health. 

Wash It Down

Water additives are a fantastic way to help improve your canine’s oral health.

You can get ones that also add vital vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s all-around health too and water additives ensure that the product will get to every part of the mouth, just like their water does.

It’s Ok if you have several animals in the house too because there’s usually no specific dose per animal, you just need to use the correct amount whenever you refill your pet’s water bowl and everybody should get the right amount.

Even if you can brush your dog’s teeth, we think that water additives are great anyway, because they support your dog’s dental health between brushes and help to freshen breath. 

Some good water additive options might be: 

As with dental sprays, it’s good to use water additives with another type of oral care for your dog for optimum protection and to try to choose one that prioritizes oral health over fresh breath for best results. 

Choose Their Chew Toys Wisely

Many brands offer chew toys that help to break down plaque buildup on canine teeth. Ridged toys like the Tartar Control EZ Clean 360 from Arm & Hammer which comes with a toothpaste you can use with it.

No brushing is required, you just apply the toothpaste to the wells in the toy and give it to your dog to play with. They also produce a beef flavor EZ Clean Bone which works in the same way. 

As a rule, any chew toy with grooves, bumps, bristles, or nubs will help to reduce tartar and plaque build-up on your dog’s teeth. Just remember to remove and replace damaged chews before they become dangerous for your pooch to use. 

Final Thoughts

If your dog is resistant to brushing, it’s really understandable. We can’t explain to them why it’s important for them to have healthy teeth or how brushing will help that, so it’s sort of like trying to reason with a stubborn toddler.

The most effective way of dealing with dogs who don’t like toothbrushes is to use a water additive along with chew toys and another option from the list above.

That way, you should have the best chance of getting the things that prevent dental issues from occurring within close contact of every area of the tooth including the back, front, and between the teeth. 

Dogs can’t tell us when their teeth or gums are bothering them, so it’s up to us as their owners and their friends to help be preventative with dental problems where possible.

Dogs give so much to us, so it’s only fair we should help them where we can in return.

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