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How To Keep Your Pet’s Teeth Clean

How To Keep Your Pet’s Teeth Clean

How to keep your pet’s teeth clean is a question we hear often. There is a very clear connection between our pet’s good health and their teeth. Just like us, our pets need their teeth professionally cleaned normally once a year.

However, in between cleanings there are a number of things you can do to help keep their choppers pearly white and their breath smelling fresh.

Tooth Brushing

This is the very best way to keep your pet healthy. It will prevent bacteria build-up which can lead to tooth loss and infections including heart disease. Get a tasty toothpaste that is formulated for pets. You may want to start with a finger brush first.

Many pets find them a bit easier to accept over a toothbrush. After they are comfy with the finger brush, graduate to a real toothbrush, they clean better. Ideally, you should brush your pet’s teeth daily.

Dental Wipes

Dental wipes are good for in-between brushing or if your pet isn’t quite ready for actual brushing yet. They can be used to help remove what’s on the surface of the tooth. However, they are not as effective as a toothbrush in cleaning out those smaller spaces, particularly the gingival sulcus where the gum meets the teeth.

Dental Treats

Dental treats can help clean teeth too. They should be used in conjunction with brushing. They are formulated to remove plaque build-up on teeth and will help freshen their breath too. Some popular treats are Greenies, Whimzees, and Zukes. Check to be sure they are made in the USA.

Chew Toys

There are many chew products designed to help remove plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth. They’ll be so busy having fun, they won’t even realize the toy is cleaning their teeth! Popular examples are toys like Kongs, Boshel Dog Ball, and some rope toys. Many cats love Kong’s Cat Wubba Mouse toy for fun and teeth cleaning.


A natural, healthy diet helps too. Kibble actually does clean teeth a bit and there are some kibbles that are specifically formulated to do this. Consider giving your pet apple slices and carrots to help clean teeth. Some people swear that a raw diet and raw soft animal bones clean teeth very well. Do your research and speak to your vet about these ideas.

There are a few cons to the above choices. If your dog is a power chewer you’ll need to pick treats and toys appropriately. Don’t give them rawhide (it’s non-digestible) or hard bones like deer antlers (they can break your pet’s teeth). Always supervise your pet when using any of these treats, chews, or toys. Like any treat or toy, small pieces can be dangerous. Always look at ingredients to avoid things like cornstarch (corn is a common allergen), sugar, or excessive fat. And don’t forget to count the calories in pet treats, they add up!

Just a few minutes a day can keep your companion’s choppers clean!

The Veterinary Oral Health Council has a list of certified dental cleaning treats, food, and toys that are great for your pets!


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