How to Brush a Small Dog's Teeth

15 - 20 Minutes
1 Day


No matter how small your dog happens to be, his teeth need to be brushed on a daily basis just like your own teeth. Think about it for a second--how bad is your pup's breath when he goes to "kiss" your face? If it smells like last week's dinner, then it's up to you to do something about it. Although dogs are lucky enough to not have to worry about cavities the same way we do, they still have to worry about gum disease, which is where you, a toothbrush, and some dog-friendly toothpaste come in. 

Dog's Perspective

Your dog probably doesn't care what his breath smells like or if his teeth are yellow. The only time he is likely to worry about oral hygiene is when his gums become infected and painful. The best thing you can do is start brushing your pup's teeth at a very early age. This will help him get used to the brush before he has time to be upset about it. 

Caution & Considerations

  • The most important thing to remember is that you should NEVER use toothpaste that is made for humans. It contains fluoride and many other chemicals that are toxic to dogs and could kill your pup.
  • The same applies to his toothbrush, those made for humans don't have the right head angle and may not be able to reach all of your pup's teeth.
  • Take your time, brush gently, and work your way over each tooth. Too much pressure on the brush can injure your pup's gums.
  • If regular brushing doesn't remove discoloration, you may need to take your pup to see his vet for a professional cleaning under anesthesia.
  • Being overly rough with the toothbrush can make it more difficult to get your pup to let you brush his teeth.
  • Be sure to take your pup to see his vet for an annual dental exam and cleaning. This will give the vet a chance to check his teeth and gums for signs of damage.
  • Be sure you brush your pup's teeth every day to reduce the risk of gum disease and, of course, that oh-so-lovely doggy breath. 


The earlier you start brushing your pup's teeth the better. Young pups are far more accepting of things like this, making the process much easier as your pup grows older. Brush them daily to help ensure your pup's teeth and gums remain healthy for as long as he lives. Can you imagine your dog with false teeth?

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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