Dog Dental Care: Top 5 Tips + FAQs

Dog Dental Care blog image for Holistapet brand. Image of a chihuahua getting its teeth brushed using a finger brush. Text reads: Dog Dental Care: Guide + Cleaning Tips
Shop our solutions →

Keep your pup beaming through proper dog dental care! It's a key part of your pet's dental health that will bring them (and you) a lifetime of happy smiles. Great oral care not only keeps dogs smiling but also supports their overall health.


How, you ask? This article will explain why maintaining your dog's dental hygiene is paramount. We'll share the top 5 dog dental care tips you need to know, plus answer some of your frequently asked questions regarding pet dental health. Stay tuned for insightful advice to keep your pet's smile healthy and bright!



Why Is Dental Health Important for Dogs? 

Oral health impacts more than just your pet's mouth; it also extends to your pet's overall health. Neglecting pet dental care can lead to serious health problems, from oral disease to organ damage.


A thorough dental cleaning can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup, which, in turn, can prevent dental disease. Dental problems are not only painful but can also lead to tooth loss. Oral infections can even affect the heart, liver, and kidneys. By prioritizing your dog's dental health, you're keeping them smiling and supporting their long-term health at the same time.


What Are the Signs of Good Dental Health in Dogs?

There are a few signs you can watch for to assess your dog's oral health. Of course, it's always better to ask your veterinarian for a proper evaluation, but it wouldn't hurt to observe your furry friend for the following:


  • Healthy Teeth and Gums. Look for clean, white teeth without any brown or yellow tartar buildup. The gums should be pink and firm without any swelling or redness.
  • Fresh Breath. While a dog's breath won't always smell minty fresh, it shouldn't be overwhelmingly bad either. Consistently bad breath can indicate issues.
  • Normal Eating Habits and Chewing Behavior. A healthy dog chews their food and toys normally. Dogs with dental issues might seem uncomfortable chewing and not want to eat.


dog laying flat on a table and getting its teeth inspected by vet


What Are Common Dental Problems Dogs Face?

Dental problems are unfortunately common in dogs. However, awareness of them can help you take preventive steps. Here are some of the most frequent issues:


  • Plaque and Tartar Buildup. Dogs can accumulate dental plaque that hardens into tartar if not regularly cleaned. This buildup can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Periodontal Disease. This is an infection of the structures around the teeth, including the gums. Periodontal disease can cause discomfort, bad breath, and tooth loss. It can also spread infection to other parts of the body.
  • Tooth Decay and Broken Teeth. Pets' teeth can break while they chew on hard objects. Broken teeth and roots are prone to decay and infection.
  • Oral Infections. When left untreated, infections in and around the mouth can lead to more severe issues, including heart, liver, and kidney damage.


What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Dental Problems in Dogs?

Recognizing signs of oral disease and other dental problems can help prevent bigger issues for you and your dog. Here are some key indicators:


  • Bad Breath. Persistent bad breath is one of the early signs of dental issues in dogs.
  • Swollen or Bleeding Gums. This can indicate gum disease or infections. Healthy gums should be pink, not red or swollen.
  • Loose Teeth. If your dog's teeth are loose, it could be a sign of advanced dental disease.
  • Visible Tartar Buildup. Yellow or brown tartar along the gumline clearly indicates dental issues.
  • Decreased Appetite. If your pet is suddenly reluctant to eat, especially hard foods, your dog's mouth may be aching.
  • Hesitation To Play with Chew Toys. A decline in interest in chewing toys can mean discomfort.
  • Pawing at the Mouth. Dogs often paw at their mouth if they're experiencing discomfort.
  • Excessive Drooling. More drooling than usual can also be a symptom of oral issues.



Dog Dental Care - Top 5 Tips

Maintaining your dog's dental health is easier than you might think! We'll discuss them in more detail later, but here are the top five tips to keep your pet's mouth healthy:


  • Regular Tooth Brushing
  • Regular Dental Cleanings
  • Healthy and Balanced Diet
  • High-Quality Dental Products
  • Regular Veterinary Check-Ups


Chihuahua getting its teeth brushed by a human


Regular Tooth Brushing

Brushing your dog's teeth regularly is key to keeping them clean. Start by choosing a good-quality dog toothbrush. These tools are softer and fit comfortably in a dog's mouth. Also, use canine toothpaste. Human toothpaste may be harmful to dogs if ingested.


Some pets may not like their teeth brushed, so creating a pleasant dental care routine is crucial. Brush your dog's teeth daily or at least several times a week. Forming this habit early in your dog's life can make the process much easier for both of you.


Related Post: What to Expect After Dog Teeth Cleaning 


Regular Dental Cleanings

Professional dental cleaning by an American Veterinary Dental College-certified veterinary dentist or licensed dental hygienist achieves more than what brushing your dog's teeth can. The process involves a thorough examination of your dog's mouth. This examination includes areas below the gumline that you can't easily see or reach.


During teeth cleaning, the vet or hygienist will remove dental plaque and tartar from your dog's teeth. They may perform polishing and get dental x-rays to assess your pet's jaw bone and tooth roots. These dental procedures help catch issues like periodontal disease and tooth decay before they become serious. Therefore, regular professional dental cleaning, ideally once a year, should be part of your furry friend's dental plan.


Healthy and Balanced Diet 

Proper nutrition based on your dog's age, breed, and health needs can help prevent dental problems. Oral care diets, for example, can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup. These diets often include kibble with textures that help scrub the teeth clean as your dog chews.


Safe chew toys and dental treats can complement your dog's diet. Your pup can chew on these products for longer periods. Doing so can help mechanically clean your dog's teeth by reducing plaque and stimulating the gums.


Related Post: Vitamin D for Dogs: Benefits Explained


Holistapet Premium dog Dental Chews advertisement (click button to shop dental sticks). Shows a dog chewing a dental stick.


High-Quality Dental Products

High-quality dental products include dental chews, rinses, and oral care diets. Remember to look for pet-specific products approved by veterinary professionals.


HolistaPet is a reputable source of quality oral products for pets. We offer a range of dental sticks and chews that are safe and effective for dogs of all sizes. Adding these products to your pet's daily routine can do wonders for their smile and overall health:



Regular Veterinary Check-Ups

Regular check-ups allow your vet to perform oral exams and catch issues early on. During a check-up, the vet can assess the condition of your pet's mouth. They can check for signs of dental disease and recommend solutions.


Your vet might also suggest scheduling regular professional dental cleanings. Consistent veterinary care helps address dental issues before they become more serious.



Dog Dental Care - Frequently Asked Questions

You may still have some questions about your pet's dental health. Don't worry, we're here to answer them. In the next sections, we'll give you some actionable advice to support your dog's oral health. Read on to know how you can keep your dog's smile radiant.


Is There an Alternative To Brushing My Dog'sTeeth?

Supplemental products like dental chews and special diets can support oral health, but brushing your dog's teeth is irreplaceable. Regular brushing is the most effective way to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup. A comprehensive approach that includes regular brushing and dental care solutions will best protect your furry buddy.


How Can I Make Tooth Brushing a Positive Experience for My Dog?

Let your dog taste the canine toothpaste first, and then slowly touch their teeth and gums with your finger before using a toothbrush. Always praise and reward your dog with treats after each session to associate the experience with positive results. Keep the sessions short and gentle to help your pet feel comfortable and less worried about the process.


Can I Use Human Toothpaste for My Dog?

No, you should never use human toothpaste for your pet. It contains ingredients that can be harmful to dogs if swallowed, such as fluoride and xylitol. Instead, use canine toothpaste, which is safe and comes in flavors dogs love. Doing so makes the brushing experience safe and pleasant for your pup.


Happy white dog (headshot) with its tongue out and bright white teeth showing


How Do I Choose Good Dental Products for My Dog?

Look for pet-specific products approved by veterinary professionals. Consider your dog's age, size, breed, health status, and preferences. You can also ask your veterinarian for recommendations. HolistaPet is a great source of vet-approved dental products for dogs. Our products contain only natural ingredients and are gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, and third-party lab-tested for optimal safety and efficacy.


How Do I Know if a Dog Dental Product Is Effective?

Overall, lab-tested and vet-approved products (like ours) are more likely to be effective. Observe your dog's oral health over time. Effective products should lead to visibly cleaner teeth, healthier gums, and fresher breath. Also, read reviews and testimonials from other pet owners to get insights into a product's performance. Lastly, visit your vet regularly to better track your pup's dental health.


Find More Dog Care Guides Here.


Final Thoughts - Dog Dental Care

By now, you'll agree—keeping your dog's teeth sparkling isn't complicated at all! By following our tips and choosing our quality products, you're not just scrubbing away plaque but giving your pup a golden ticket to wellness. Remember, every brush stroke and dental solution is a step towards a happier, healthier dog. So what are you waiting for? Grab that doggy toothbrush, stat!

Reading next

Nettle for Dogs featured blog image for Holistapet. Shows a terrier invetigating nettle plants and text reads: Nettle for dogs: top uses & benefits
Holistapet 'Dandelion for Dogs' featured blog image. Shows a Golden Retriever wearing a crown on dandelion flowers. Text reads 'Dandelion for dogs: benefits & safety guide.'

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Looking for something in particular?

Stay connected & get updates on the latest pet news