Should I Be Brushing My Dog’s Teeth? 5 Important Reasons You Should!

June 24, 2022
Amber LaRock, Vetted Vet Professional
Dental Health

Brushing a dog’s teeth is one of the most effective ways to prevent painful dental disease in the future. Though this is a simple way to care for your little one from home, many pet parents are still unaware of just how essential tooth brushing is for a dog.

Brushing your dog’s teeth can tackle difficult plaque build up, prevent painful gum inflammation, and even save you money on costly dental procedures. Vetted wants to give you the tools needed to care for your dog’s dental health moving forward, so let’s discuss the 5 reasons why you should be brushing your dog’s teeth below!

5 Reasons Why You Should Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Can you imagine going day to day without brushing your teeth? Not only would this be an uncomfortable feeling, but it would lead to an array of dental complications down the line. We’d soon experience gum irritation and painful cavities, and our dog’s teeth are no different.

Neglecting your dog’s dental health can have major health repercussions, and the team at Vetted wants only the best for the little ones in your home. Our aim is to empower the pet parent through education and guidance, so let’s introduce you to our top 5 reasons why you should be brushing your dog’s teeth each day.

1. Dental Disease In Dogs Can Cause Serious Health Complications

Many pet parents are surprised to learn just how big of a deal dental disease is in our little ones. While many believe that bad breath is the only thing that can come from an insufficient dental care routine, this is far from the truth. Dental disease in dogs can impact their tooth and gum health, their overall comfort, and even their systemic health.

When a dog has plaque that is left to harden on their teeth, it will soon turn into a thick layer of tartar. This tartar contains bacteria that will collect within the dog’s mouth, causing everything from gum inflammation to bad breath. The buildup of inflammatory bacteria will eventually cause severe infections in the mouth, increasing the risk of painful dental abscesses.

Not only can dental disease in dogs cause harm to their oral health, but this bacteria can even enter the dog’s bloodstream. Bacteria from the mouth has been found in the heart and kidneys of dogs with organ dysfunction and disease, proving just how big of a deal dental bacteria can be. It’s not just your dog’s teeth that you need to be worried about, but rather their health as a whole.

If you have any other questions about dental disease and dental care in dogs, Vetted offers 24/7 virtual guidance from our skilled veterinary team. We are always here to assist you with the day-to-day care of your little ones, so you can learn more about this membership option here.

2. Dental Disease In Dogs Is Extremely Painful

We never want our little ones to be in pain, so daily tooth brushing is an effective way to promote their comfort in the future. Dental disease can be excruciating for the dog affected, as the bacteria that builds on their teeth will soon cause painful damage. This can make it difficult for a dog to eat properly, chew on their favorite toys, and even open their mouth.

While working in an ER setting, I saw many dogs that were suffering with unbearable dental disease. Some of these dogs couldn’t even bear to have their faces touched, proving just how big of an impact dental health can have on their quality of life.

3. Plaque Hardens Into Tartar In Just 48 Hours

Did you know that it only takes 24-48 hours for dental plaque to harden and form tartar? While plaque can be brushed away with daily tooth brushing, tartar can only be removed with a dental scale. This means that your dog will need to undergo a sedated dental cleaning to remove the layer of tartar on their teeth, when it could have been prevented with simple at home dental care. By brushing your dog’s teeth at home, you are offering them ample protection against inflammatory tartar.

4. It Prevents Bad Breath In Dogs

There’s nothing worse than being overtaken by foul breath when trying to cuddle with your beloved pet. No matter how much we love our little ones, we do not want to be face to face with their halitosis. Bad breath in dogs is often a result of bacterial collection on the teeth, as well as the damaging inflammation that occurs because of it.

When you brush your dog’s teeth each day, you are preventing a layer of inflammatory bacteria from adhering to the teeth. Once you make this a regular part of your home care routine, you will notice a substantial difference in their bad breath.

5. It Can Save You Money In The Long Run

Routine dental procedures should always be a part of your dog’s dental care plan, but at home tooth brushing can decrease the amount of professional cleanings your dog will need. Dental procedures aim to remove built up tartar and damaged teeth, so when you prevent most tartar build up with daily tooth brushing, you are limiting the amount of dental scaling they require.

In addition to offering your dog more time in between each professional dental cleaning, their procedures will also be less invasive. Dental disease can lead to necessary removal of any infected teeth, where a dog that receives at home dental care may never require this. Because of both of these factors, daily tooth brushing for your dog will ultimately save you money.

How Do I Brush My Dog’s Teeth? – Step By Step

Now that you are aware of just how important it is to brush your dog’s teeth at home, let’s offer you step by step instructions on how to do it properly. By making this a part of your dog’s routine early on, this can even be a fun part of their day!

If you are not sure where to start when offering your dog at home dental care, you can always download the Vetted app or email our team directly at to get our preventative health kit. This kit will provide everything you need to care for your dog’s teeth moving forward, ranging from tooth brushing supplies to water additives that fight plaque.

  1. You will start by first gathering your tooth cleaning supplies. This includes a dog approved toothpaste (human toothpaste is very toxic to dogs), a canine toothbrush, or even a finger brush if your dog likes this option more.
  1. You can then get in a comfortable position next to your pup that allows you access to their mouth, whether this is sitting on the ground with them or hovering above.
  1. Now that you are in a comfortable position that allows access to their teeth, you should apply a small amount of dog toothpaste to your toothbrush or finger brush. You can even allow your pet to lick some of the toothpaste first, as this will get them excited about what’s to come.
  1. You can then begin to brush your dog’s teeth at their pace, making sure to really focus on those hard to reach spots on the side of their canines. You should spend about 30 seconds on each area, as this will be most effective in removing any built up plaque.
  1. Once you have brushed each region of the mouth, always be sure to end the toothbrushing session on a fun note. This can simply be allowing your dog to lick the remnants of the toothpaste on your brush, or even a quick cuddle session to show them how good they were!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the easiest ways to keep their teeth healthy moving forward. Just a few minutes a day can make a world of difference for your little one, and even help you two bond throughout the process. Vetted wants nothing more than a life full of health and happiness for the beloved pets in your family!