How to Brush a Dog's Teeth Naturally

Medium
5 - 10 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

Does your dog have bad breath, tartar buildup, and generally yucky teeth? There are several ways to naturally addresses oral hygiene for your dog, including letting him chew on raw bones or antlers and feeding him a species-appropriate diet with lots of protein and low carbohydrates.

Brushing your dog's teeth may also be necessary to keep his teeth healthy. If you want to brush your dog's teeth naturally you can use natural products that will keep your dog's teeth spick and span. There are several methods and homemade products that you can use for natural teeth brushing that are effective. If your dog has hard tartar buildup, however, you will need to consider taking your dog to a veterinarian to have it removed, then you can maintain your dog's smile with natural teeth brushing methods!

Dog's Perspective

If your dog has never had his teeth brushed before you may need to take steps to adapt him to having his teeth brushed. He may not like you poking at his already inflamed gums and teeth with a strange stick! Start slow; get your dog used to having his teeth brushed by using a gauze-wrapped finger and massaging teeth and gums. Put something that tastes good to your dog, like a flavored natural toothpaste, or organic coconut oil on the gauze. Keep teeth brushing sessions short until your dog gets used to having your finger in his mouth and his teeth handled. Once your dog is comfortable with the process, switch to a doggy toothbrush specifically designed for dogs available from veterinarians or at pet stores, or use a soft child's toothbrush.

The Natural Toothpaste and Brushing Method

Effective
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Step
1
Use correct toothbrush
You can use a child's toothbrush, or preferably use a brush designed for dogs with a triple head that gets all sides of your dog's teeth.
Step
2
Obtain natural toothpaste
Use a natural fluoride and xylitol-free toothpaste available commercially or a homemade preparation.
Step
3
Make homemade
Make a homemade preparations with turmeric, kale and parsley flakes, and hot water added to liquefied coconut oil or mix a beef bouillon cube, baking soda, salt, and parsley with water
Step
4
Brush teeth
Lift your dog's lip up and away from teeth and gently brush exposed teeth and gums, including cheek flaps. Carefully reach inside surfaces of teeth. Many dogs are resistant to this so you will need to introduce this slowly.
Step
5
Wipe teeth
Wipe off excess toothpaste with a damp cloth.
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The Alternative Brushing Method

Effective
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Step
1
Use dental spray
Use a natural canine dental spray available at holistic pet stores and from holistic veterinarians. Spray directly onto teeth and gums.
Step
2
Use gauze
Use a small face cloth to brush your dog's teeth or a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger.
Step
3
Use natural toothpaste
Use natural toothpaste preparations purchased commercially or made with coconut oil combined with parsley, turmeric, and kelp, or with beef bouillon, baking soda and salt.
Step
4
Massage teeth
Apply natural toothpaste to the cloth or gauze, pull back your dog's lip and gently massage teeth, gums and cheeks. Try to get at inside surfaces of teeth if possible.
Step
5
Rinse
Soak a cloth with water and grapefruit seed extract and wipe off excess toothpaste to rinse.
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Caution & Considerations

  • Be cautious when using natural products, as many plant extracts can be toxic to dogs in small or large amounts. Make sure your dog does not ingest natural toothpastes. Wipe off excess.
  • When using a toothbrush, be careful not to poke your dog's gums or soft palate with the brush. If your dog is not familiar with brushes, start with a cloth-wrapped finger until he is accustomed to teeth brushing.
  • Make sure to brush gums and cheek flaps as well as teeth to remove bacteria.
  • Getting inside of your dog's teeth surfaces can be challenging, use patience and work towards gradually getting your dog to allow you access to all his teeth.

Conclusion

Veterinary dental work is expensive and often requires anesthesia to remove built-up tartar.  By brushing your dog's teeth at home with natural products you can address your dog's oral hygiene in a natural and inexpensive way and avoid costly and invasive dental procedures. Use toothbrushes or cloths, and natural commercial products or homemade natural products to clean your dog's teeth, reducing tartar buildup and keeping his breath fresh. Your dog will be much healthier if dental health is addressed, as bacteria and poor dental health can impact your dog's overall health.  Natural teeth brushing is a simple fix to avoid unpleasant and costly health problems down the road.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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